Marie Curie

EU High Level Scientific Conference Series

Challenges of Multidimensional Translation
Saarbrücken 2-6 May 2005

edited by Heidrun Gerzymisch-Arbogast (Saarbrücken) Sandra Nauert (Saarbrücken)

Advanced Translation Research Center (ATRC) Saarland University Germany

Proceedings EU High Level Scientific Conferences, Marie Curie Euroconferences MuTra: Challenges of Multidimensional Translation Saarbrücken 2-6 May 2005 Saarland Museum Modern Gallery, Saarbrücken Editors Heidrun Gerzymisch-Arbogast (Saarbrücken) Sandra Nauert (Saarbrücken) Organization MuTra 2005 was organized by the Advanced Translation Research Center (ATRC), Saarland University/Germany ( Scientific Committee Gerhard Budin Mary Carroll Jan Engerg Heidrun Gerzymisch-Arbogast Henrik Gottlieb Valda Rudzisa Jörg Scherer Klaus Schubert Kristina Szabari

ISBN 069-1306222

© Copyright 2005-2007 by MuTra Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of the papers in these proceedings for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies refer to this copyright and cite the original publication in the MuTra Conference Proceedings. Abstracting with credit is permitted. Authors may reuse any portion of their work, without fee, in future works of the Author's own, including books, lectures and presentations in all media, or to post author-prepared versions of the work covered by this copyright in a personal collection on their own Home Page and on a publicly accessible server provided the MuTra copyright and publication are cited. All other rights, including those of translation into foreign languages, are reserved.

Part I: Positioning Multidimensional Translation 1 16 33 62

Heidrun Gerzymisch-Arbogast (Saarbrücken) Introducing Multidimensional Translation Jorge Dìaz-Cintas (London) Back to the Future in Subtitling Henrik Gottlieb (Copenhagen) Multidimensional Translation: Semantics turned Semiotics Yvonne Griesel (Berlin) Are Theatre Surtitles an Adequate Mode of Translation? Towards an Integrative View of Translation in the Theatre Minako O'Hagan (Dublin) Multidimensional Translation: A Game Plan for Audiovisual Translation in the Age of GILT Part II: The Multidimensional Potential: Translating Culture


Helmut Diekmann (Helsinki) Strategies for Translating from Finnish into German and vice versa Brigitte Horn-Helf (Münster) Visualized Information in Multilingual Translations Jan Pedersen (Stockholm) How is Culture rendered in Subtitles? Peter Sandrini (Innsbruck) Website Localization and Translation Nilgin Tanis Polat (Izmir) Cultural Leeways and Discourse in Narrative Texts Part III: Multidimensional Interpreting?

88 99 113 131 139

Claudio Bendazzoli & Annalisa Sandrelli (Bologna, Forlì) An approach to Corpus-Based Interpreting Studies: Developing EPIC (European Parliament Interpreting Corpus) Gertrud Hofer (Zurich) Court Interpreting: Practical Experience and Implications for Training Interpreters Mira Kadric (Vienna) Court interpreting in the context of the EU and new requests Annalisa Sandrelli (Bologna, Forlì) Designing CAIT (Computer-Assisted Interpreter Training) Tools: Black Box Part IV: MultidimensionalTranslation and Beyond



174 191

Susanne Wagner (Halle) Intralingual Speech-to-Text Conversion in Real Time:Challenges and Opportunities Mathias Wagner (Saarbrücken) How to make a Haptic Device Help Touch Virtual Histological Slides



descriptive translation studies have examined the status and function of translations in the target culture (Even-Zohar 1978. In semiotics interlingual translation forms part of the wider field of translation between any two sign systems (Jakobson 1959). Whorf 1956. Berger/Nord 1999). as well as the belief in equivalence or fidelity (Derrida 1985). has proceeded to Luther (1530) and Buber (1954) and is still a topic in today’s ‘translation science’ (Nida 1964. Eco 1975. In addition. More recently. 1984). 1 The Setting 1. The EU’s generous financial support made it possible to develop the topic as described below and provide momentum to a research area in intercultural communication transfer which integrates the disparate subfields of audiovisual translation. George Steiner 1992). Translation-relevant issues in semiotics include the nature of signs and codes (Peirce 1991. 2005 in Saarbrücken. © Copyright 2005-2007 by MuTra 1 . Toury 1995).1 Translation Theory: A Historical Perspective Translation has a centuries-long tradition and has historically raised many complex and controversial scientific questions in a number of disciplines (for an overview cf. My special thanks go to the European Union for making this possible and to all contributors o this conference on translation in its multidimensional forms. In theology (Bible translation) the ‘literal’ versus ‘free’ issue was raised as early as Jerome (395). Benjamin 1923). the issue of fidelity in translation has traditionally played a prominent role (Schleiermacher 1813. In anthropology the question of the translatability of cultures – translatability between different (and differentially empowered) cultures and languages. In philosophy the controversy over the relationship between language and thought and the world’s cultural interpretation led to the development of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and Humboldt’s untranslatability thesis (Sapir 1968. theater translation. In literary studies. Clifford 1988.EU-High-Level Scientific Conference Series MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Heidrun Gerzymisch-Arbogast (Saarbrücken) Introducing Multidimensional Translation Contents 1 2 3 4 5 The Setting Multidimensional Translation: Concept and Methodology Multidimensional Translation: The MuTra Project Concluding remarks References Abstract The following article is a revised and updated version of the opening address to the first event of the Marie Curie conference series ‘Multidimensional Translation’ (MuTra) held on May 2nd. in the field of literary history. deconstruction has questioned the very notion of an original. knowledge management & LSP translation and various types of interpreting within a framework of a common theoretical profile. It describes the concept and methodology of Multidimensional Translation as a research project proposed to and accepted for funding by the European Union. audiodescription. Humboldt 1836). and between different discursive modes (from a way of life into academic discourse) – has been widely debated (Asad 1986. and the relationship between different complex signs (Gorlée 1994).

interlingual translation (translation between national languages) and intersemiotic translation (e. a ‘human’ translation science began to develop in the sixties relying on the categories and paradigms of general. interpreting and multilingual communication are becoming increasingly blurred and multidimensional language competencies (including technology and (project) management skills) are required to meet modern multilingual communication challenges in an enlarging Europe. Rejecting both paradigms as too philology-oriented. With the resulting diversity of solutions. 2004 to 462 language combinations.2 Modern Developments With the rising need for international cooperation in politics. representation and translatability recur in postcolonial cultural studies (Bhabha 1994.. In opposition to this ‘linguistic’ orientation a literature-based historico-descriptive paradigm developed. Jäger 1975. Neubert 1968) and – with a communicative orientation – also Nida 1964)). The issues of power. Intercultural communication studies deals with both verbal and nonverbal communication between cultures (Clyne 1994. Greenblatt 1991). it still needs to clarify its concepts and methodologies and is today primarily accepted by translation practitioners as relevant for pragmatic texts. As a result of its heterogeneous historical development and its deep roots in practice. While this school made a major contribution towards establishing translation science as a discipline of its own.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Heidrun Geryzmisch-Arbogast Pálsson 1993). 1. translation & interpreting is a key global activity today and sets the stage for cross-cultural knowledge transfer and intercultural communication. science and economics and the ensuing foundation of international organizations after WW II. the European Union where translation and interpreting services have increased from 110 language combinations before enlargement on May 1st. new technologies have transformed onedimensional translation tasks (spoken-to-spoken/written-to-written modes) into 2 . language and cultural mediation in the form of translation and interpreting became an important international factor and modern translation research established itself as a discipline of its own. As was highlighted by the 2004 SCIC (Service Commun Interprétation Conférences) Universities Conference. The attempt to simulate translation processes by machine translation in the fifties gave rise to important questions on the lexical and syntactical level of language transfer and subsequently positioned translation within the field of applied linguistics. When machine translation failed to produce the expected results. Against the background of a fragmented (research) profile with little crossfertilization between its multiple dimensions of intralingual (LSP communication). It is of particular urgency in the world’s largest and most prestigious employer of translators and interpreters. translation theory and research today presents itself as highly fragmented and compartmentalized.3 Today’s Challenges As a practical phenomenon. audiovisual translation). Kittel 1988).g. Gudykunst/Kim 1992. Wilss 1977. 1. dependent upon each discipline’s explanatory models. Kelly (1979). Holz-Mänttäri 1984. comments and opinions from within these separate disciplines. Snell-Hornby 1988). a functional translation school developed in the eighties placing the skopos of a translation in the center of attention (Reiss & Vermeer 1984. applied and contrastive linguistics (Catford 1965. the boundaries between translation. it is natural that translation research has developed heterogeneously.g. Koller 1979) and the authors of the so-called ‘Leipzig school’ (Kade 1968. and the ‘Göttinger Sonderforschungsbereich’ (e. Göhring 2002). Nord 1988. represented by the works of Kloepfer (1967).

in which theory and practice are mutually beneficial to each other? 2 Multidimensional Translation: Concept and Methodology We approach these questions from a theoretical perspective with a view to translation practice and argue that despite its heterogeneous development translation theory has considerably honed its research profile in the past 20 years to the extent that with the concept of multidimensional translation there is indeed a common theoretical ground as a resource from which translation practice in all its dimensions can draw support and benefit in an effort to meet the challenges of modern translation tasks. spoken to written (e.e. multimodal and/or polysemiotic) communication scenarios. i.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Heidrun Geryzmisch-Arbogast multidimensional (i. another knowledge (system) or text (in its widest sense) irrespective of whether the translated product is in the same (national) language or not. terminology management and website localization). structures and modes of modern translation are still not yet fully known although language technology & knowledge representation (e. Beyond this conceptual common ground. 3 .g. The research program portrayed in Section 3 proceeds from the idea that from this theoretical basis a common translation methodology can be developed. multilingual.g. or signed. content. intralingual and polysemiotic categorizations. The challenges of modern (multimedia) technologies and their impacts on the form. multimedia. in linear or non-linear form.g. languages. modes and/or sign systems (in the widest sense) to another and that • text production in the target culture. written. They all require • source material.g.g. e. auditory to visual (subtitling for the hard-of-hearing). knowledge and text (in the widest sense). subtitling or written interpreting). no matter how complicated and varied the languages in question. • to be 'transferred' to • another material. mode and/or sign system requires reformulation according to a set of parameters to be specified in the individual scenario. Dam/Engberg/Gerzymisch-Arbogast 2005). visual to auditory (audiodescription for blind audiences). individual understanding being secured by text analysis) • translation implies a ‘transfer’ from one of at least two cultures. the following common traits are suggested to apply to all human translation procedures.e. their textual structures or the media by which they are transmitted may be. electronic textuality and multimodal translation scenarios are today intrinsically interrelated with such translation subfields as LSP communication and audiovisual translation. language. potentially involving knowledge management and text (e. technology-driven and multimediasupported or not. What are the implications of this development for the discipline of translation in its theoretical and practical dimensions? Can the impact of globalization and new technologies on the form. spoken to manual symbols (sign language interpreting). content. e. linear to non-linear (e. Budin 2002. ‘hypertext’). that • texts need to be understood before they are translated (which requires world knowledge. spoken. structure and modes of a translated product be identified and systematized? Will it enhance theoretical consolidation and lead to a coherent translation research profile or will it continue to lead to compartmentalization and eventually disintegration of the discipline? Can we establish a common theoretical ground for translation as a discipline within which research progress will promote the discipline as a whole. Multidimensional Translation proceeds from the idea that there is unity in a common (theoretical) core in all translation (processes).g. Modern translation tasks typically cut across the interlingual. Schubert 2003.

all of these translation concepts involve a transfer as the differentia specifica of translation.traditionally includes both forms (written translation and oral interpretation) defines its object in a stricter and wider sense with transfer being performed e. which – following the ‘Leipzig School’ terminology . 2. Universität des Saarlandes (unpublished) 4 . ‘messages’ (Nida/Taber 1969) or ‘information offers’ (Reiß/Vermeer 1984). Fig. Transfer can thus be considered the common core of any translatory action. 1: Translation Concepts1 Despite the diversity in the objects of translatory action. on ‘language’ (Jacobson 1959. 4.g.’texts’ (Catford 1965). Noemi (2005): Untertiteling – Übersetzung oder Bearbeitung. Koller 1972).1: Translation Concepts1 Fig.1 Conceptual Foundations Translation theory.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Heidrun Geryzmisch-Arbogast 2. If we keep the objects of translatory action relatively open. the following translation concept can accommodate a wide range of translation types from hypertext to subtitling: Translation in its widest sense can be understood as • a concern/interest of a speaker or writer which is expressed • by means of a sign system 1 • formulated in a Medium 1 (= original) and which is made understandable • for a hearer or reader • with a specific purpose • by means of a sign system 2 • formulated in a medium 2 or in several media 3. 5 (= translation) 1 This overview is taken from Karger.

that the transfer is made with a specific purpose in mind and potentially involves a change of sign or semiotic system and/or mode or media. 2005 a and b) They are therefore not repeated here.g. 5 . Fig. and all translation modes. With this understanding of multidimensional translation it is possible to accommodate and describe a transfer from the spoken to the written (e. 2003. certain methodological operations in all these three phases can be formulated in an abstract form that is applicable to all language combinations. 36)2. transfer and restructuring (Nida/Taber 1969. 2: Overlapping Translation Process Phases 2 These principles have been formulated as a coherent step-by-step translation methodology in GerzymischArbogast/Mudersbach 1998 and are extensively exemplified (e. all text types.. from the written to the spoken (e. 26.2 The Methodological Ground If we proceed from the traditional three-phase translation model of analysis. 2005.g. sight translation) from the visual to the spoken (e. audiodescription) and many other hybrid forms of translation and interpretation under the umbrella multidimensional translation. Gerzymisch-Arbogast 2002. 33) and adapt it for our purposes into partially interrelated reception. transfer and (re)production phases (Gerzymisch-Arbogast 2002. 2.g.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Heidrun Geryzmisch-Arbogast Based on this general concept of translation. 130 ff. Key components in this definition are that the concern needs to be expressed (as the basis of any translatory action). subtitling). formulated in a medium 1. via the same medium or a medium 2 or a combination of media into another sign or semiotic system 2. Multidimensional Translation can be defined as a form of translation which transfers – with a specific purpose – a speaker or hearer’s concern expressed in a sign system 1. It is a research desideratum to describe the conditions and forms of the different types of multidimensional translation.g.

3 The Reception Phase: Text Analysis In contrast to most other existing translational text analysis methods.4 The Transfer Phase: Comparative Compatibility Analysis Compatibility analysis verifies whether the (implied) text features (identified from an atomistic. 6 . the most comprehensive description of transfer modalities can be found in Floros’ dissertation on (cultural) constellations in texts and their translation (Floros 2003). 2005a and b). • intersubjective verifiability and weighted decision-making as guiding principles. it is suggested for multidimensional translation tasks – as a general principle – to analyze texts more flexibly in a bottom-up fashion according to their individual (‘salient’) features. They are today accessible in a systematized form mostly from an atomistic perspective (e. text type.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Heidrun Geryzmisch-Arbogast They involve • bottom-up text analysis with text-individual ‘salient’ features (identifiable on an atomistic. norm. • comparative compatibility analysis during transfer on all three levels.3 Bottom-up analyzable text features are identifiable as three different text perspectives (with different representations and potential visualizations).e. The MuTra project is designed to engage in further research into both hol-atomistic and holistic perspectives with a variety of text types and translation modes. Nord 1988). hol-atomistic and holistic level).g. Gerzymisch-Arbogast 2002. Examples of analyses are available on all these levels for a variety of text and translation types. holistic and hol-atomistic perspective in text analysis) are compatible with the target ‘material’ in content.4 The resulting (partial) incompatibilities will raise translation problems that need to be solved when re-formulating the target product (reproduction phase). simultaneous interpreting as in GerzymischArbogast/Will (2005). cf. e. from an atomistic. which proceed from an a priori established category roster and do not allow for the systematic description of ad hoc individual text features or idiosyncrasies (e. typographical idiosyncrasies or innovative categories. Gerzymisch-Arbogast/Mudersbach 1998. 2. • potential variability with respect to purpose. speaker-hearer relationships. i. 2. recipient type and (transparent) translator’s preferences. of course.g.g. form. as lexical problems.g. hol-atomistic and holistic text perspective (cf. placing particular emphasis on the holistic dimension of cultural constellations (Floros 2003) and knowledge management and information structures in LSP transfer (e. Koller’s 1:0 correspondence and the procedures for closing lexical gaps in translation). 3 4 This.g. structure and mode. e. does not mean that linguistic and/or other collective categories are not valid at all but does mean that text analysis should not be restricted to pre-established categories and needs to be flexible enough to accommodate singular text features too.

Only a selection of features (identified by text analysis) can be transferred to the target product. especially by research into the interplay of textual parameters such as coherence. Decisions in the reformulation process are at least governed by the parameters of ‘purpose’. but they can be made transparent to others. 2) to strengthen the research profiles of traditional concepts of translation and interpretation by providing qualitative research into various types of multidimensional translation. content. • These principles allow for a translator’s individuality (subjectivity.requires a ranking of features identified in text analysis with respect to the priority in which they are to be realized in the target product (weighted decision-making). the following principles are suggested to apply to all translatory action: • • Translation decisions cannot be made ‘objectively’. different purposes or simply different translators’ preferences. 3) to apply coherent and consistent translation and interpreting methodologies to multidimensional translation and 4) to train young researchers in the respective research and training methods to enhance their professional and research competence as language and cultural experts and translators. LSP communication and audiovisual translation into translation theory with the objective of strengthening the research profile of translation. multimedia. Their interplay needs to be made transparent. Translation therefore requires decision-making. Translation cannot reflect all features of the original. 3 Multidimensional Translation: The MuTra Project 3.e.1 The Scientific Program The MuTra research project addresses the multiple (multilingual.5 The (Re)Production Phase: Intersubjectivity and Weighted DecisionMaking With source text understanding (reception phase) and target culture compatibility (transfer phase) secured. information sequencing. The strongest research criterion ‘objectivity’ therefore needs to be replaced by ‘intersubjective transparency’ of translation decisions.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Heidrun Geryzmisch-Arbogast 2. structure and modes of translated products. Consistent decision-making – in contrast to intuitive ad hoc decisions . the discipline of translation can be considered to offer a coherent conceptual and methodological profile of multidimensional translation. It integrates research in cross-cultural knowledge management. On this basis. LSP communication or audiovisual translation. creativity) but support him/her in making reasonable and consistent decisions They also allow for individual variants in text formulation and account for the fact that a source text may have different target versions which may all be ‘correct’ but reflect different discursive modes. multimodal and polysemiotic) dimensions of modern translation scenarios and raises questions as to the impact of new technologies on the form. ‘recipient type’ and ‘norms/conventions’ of the target product. i. 7 . The project’s objective is to 1) to draw attention to and promote research in the common ground or core translation components under the multiple conditions and constraints of multidimensional translation and interpreting. isotopic continuity among others.

audiovisual translation scenarios (Event B. Saarbrücken).translationconcepts. Dr. Copenhagen with integrated PhD tutorial) and LSP translation scenarios (Event C. owner of Eurice GmbH. Kristina Szabari/University of Budapest. and in book form at the end of the conferences series in 2007. Dr. Copenhagen 2006 and Vienna 2007 (for details cf. owner of Titelbild GmbH. Klaus Schubert/University of Applied Sciences. www. multidimensional translation theory as a challenge (Event A. Heidrun Gerzymisch-Arbogast) are (in alphabetical order) Prof. the Advanced Translation Research Center (ATRC) together with its partners in the scientific committee5 organizes three large international Marie Curie high-level-scientific conferences for young and more experienced researchers in the field and one intensive PhD training course on Multidimensional Translation in Saarbrücken 2005. Dr. Dr. Dr.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Heidrun Geryzmisch-Arbogast Audiovisual Translation & Interpretation COMMON CORE Common conceptual and methodological core cutting across general and hybrid forms of translation & interpreting. Prof. Prof. Dr. The conference contributions will be published as conference proceedings under www. including LSP communication and audiovisual translation & interpreting LSP Communication & Translation • • General Translation & Interpretation Common concept of translation Common methodological principles Complementary Specifics of multidimensional translation types and scenarios • Fig 3: Common Core of MuTra In the course of this research project. 2) complement each other in that each applies the common core theoretical and methodological framework to different types of multidimensional Jan Engberg/The Aarhus Business School and Prof. 5 The partners of the project under the leadership of the ATRC ( (Proceedings). with PhD training activity Event D). Berlin) and project management (Jörg Scherer.euroconferences. Vienna with integrated Ph tutorial). Prof. 8 . Henrik Gottlieb/University of Copenhagen. The conference series is coherent in that all events 1) discuss multidimensional translation as a theoretical framework for modern hybrid translation and interpretation tasks. Dr.e. i. Gerhard Budin/University of Vienna. Contributions which address the above-mentioned research profile in concept and/or methodology will be published as a consolidated volume by TC Publishing online (www. Flensburg. Valda Rudziša/University of Ventspils. These partners are supported intersectorially in the area of subtitling (Mary Carroll. Saarbrücken.

isotopies) with computer assistance • providing young researchers with systematic methodological training in translation decision-making processes and its application to a wide range of (hybrid) text and translation types and scenarios (general-pragmatic.g. above). voice over. written interpretation) • all translation and interpreting dimensions that involve a change in the sign system (e.g.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Heidrun Geryzmisch-Arbogast 3.g. coherence.(Website)-Localization. media interpreting) Written (plus additional media requirement/support) – Transfer to – Written (plus additional media requirement/support) (e. LSP and audiovisual translation scenarios) • integrating the results of the present project into current academic curricula developments (e.g. above) of multidimensional translation scenarios. live subtitling.. Script Translation). free commentary. • conceptualizing and implementing knowledge/cultural data banks for facilitating comparative analyses in the transfer phases (cf.Spoken (plus additional media requirement/support) (e. • integrating multimedia and technological support description and influences into translation decision-making processes in the reproduction phase (cf. hol-atomistic and holistic level to facilitate processes in the reception phase (cf. above).2 Research Areas and Perspectives The coherent conceptual and methodological framework of the MuTra project will open up new research by: • establishing technological support for bottom-up salient features’ text analyses on an atomistic. New horizons for research include the following areas: • all traditional translation and interpreting scenarios that are media-supported.) • complementing other research initiatives in the field of multidimensional translation. subtitling. including Spoken – Transfer to – Spoken (generally all kinds of traditional interpreting with the exception of sight translation and note-triggered consecutive interpreting) Written – Transfer to – Written (generally all kinds of written intralingual und interlingual translation) Spoken (plus additional media requirement/support) – Transfer to .g. LSP communication etc. university courses in audiovisual translation. synchronization. including Written – Transfer to – Spoken (e. information sequencing. Hypertext-Translation.g. written to oral or vice versa as in sight translation or subtitling).g. visual to oral as in audio-description or spoken to signs as in sign language interpreting) 9 .g.g. • all translation and interpreting scenarios which involve a change in the mode of presentation (e. securing consistency and transparency of decision-making with a given translational purpose and including multimedia visualizations for depicting and illustrating the interplay of interrelated textual parameters (e. e. audiodescription. theater translations. sight translation) Spoken – Transfer to – Written (e.

the following sample research questions – among others – lend themselves for being addressed and empirically investigated: Are the reduction strategies developed in simultaneous interpretation valid instruments when it comes to text condensation requirements in subtitling (for the hard of hearing) and written interpretation? How do the two dimensions differ in coherence-establishing processes in terms of a priority for local and/or global coherence? • Do the expansion strategies developed in consecutive interpretation lend themselves for application in audiodescription? • In what way and to what an extent can the narrative techniques of literary translation be of value to audiodescription techniques? • In what way could localization procedures profit from theories of translating culture (e. cultural constellations.g.g. written sign language. consecutive interpreting as verbalizing notational text symbols. Braille) Visual/Symbols – Transfer to – Visual/Symbols (international (electronic) advertising. Floros 2003) and can such theories contribute to systematizing such complex tasks as the translation of rap or comics? • How can the transparency of the interplay of auditive and visual information in a concrete situation lead to modified coherence concepts for audiovisual translation? • How can coherence be established in non-linear hypertext document translations? And can systematic coherence establishing strategies and condensation principles in turn lead to the development of new strategies in simultaneous interpretation? • Can authentic complex dialog situations configuring intended thematic leaps & gaps or non sequitur phenomena of cross-purpose talks.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Heidrun Geryzmisch-Arbogast Spoken – Transfer to – Visual/Symbols (e. translation of comics. note-driven consecutive interpreting.g.g. the recent works of Annely Rothkegel (2003. video game localizations) Written – Transfer – Visual/Symbols (visualizations of text6. Neves 2005 and forthcoming. pictograms. transforming pictures/imagines into text. parallel speech sequences. Minako O’Hagan 2007 8 cf. sign-language interpreting) Visual/Symbols – Transfer to – Spoken (e. audiodescription) Visual/Symbols – Transfer to – Written (e. infotainment)7 Specifically. abrupt turns in conversation lead to new and finer types of information structuring categories? • How can the problem of connotative and emotional transfer be tackled in subtitling for the hard-of-hearing. cf. for language acquisition purposes or in sign language interpreting?8 • Can the iconicity of representing events in sign language interpreting lead to systematized syntax and information structuring designs for (sign) language interpretation and mediation? • 6 7 cf. 10 . 2004a and b) cf.

” Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography. Ed. the question of course arises as to the edges and limits of the multidimensional translation concept. Could the choreography of Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice. The life of the past seems to us nearer to our true natures. Adorno and Gretel Adorno. übersetzt und kommentiert. where a holistic approach is needed to integrate elements of respeaking and subtitling. Klaus & Christiane Nord. danced to elements of music by Bach and Wagner as John Neumeier produces it so beautifully on stage be researched in its complexity under the umbrella of multidimensional translation? Can the transfer of visual information to tactile information be researched for its invariant components on the basis of a wider translation concept and based on transparency-driven methodological standards? These questions certainly need further reflection and exploration and open up a completely new paradigm for a transfer science with powerful implications and a wide spectrum for further research opportunities for the next generation. Translated into German by Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig. 2006). many new horizons open up in hybrid translation forms such as the translation of music (Kunold forthcoming) or the transfer of visual information into tactile information (Wagner 2007)9 or such complex transfer forms as theater translation (Griesel 2000. cf. Considering these manifold dimensions. 9 Mathias Wagner received the VISU prize of Saarland University in 2004 for his research on this topic. Berger. As Antoine de Saint-Exupéry put it so aptly: “To grasp the meaning of the world of today we use the language created to express the world of yesterday. and ann. Berkeley: University of California Press. 212–35. Theodor W. Talal (1986): “The Concept of Cultural Translation in British Social Anthropology. trans. Tübingen/Basel: Francke (UTB) Capurro. Rafael (1986): Hermeneutik der Fachinformation.” Schriften. Benjamin. with Friedrich Podszus. In addition. 11 . Martin (1954): “Zu einer neuen Verdeutschung der Schrift. Bhabha. 141–64. Sylvia (eds) Übersetzen und Dolmetschen.: Alber. Walter (1923/1955): “Die Aufgabe des Übersetzers. (1999): Das Neue Testament und frühchristliche Schriften.” Supplement to Die fünf Bücher der Weisung. Homi K. Postcolonial Times and the Trials of Cultural Translation”. Joanna & Kalina. James Clifford and George E. simultaneous interpretation. Buber. Gerhard (2002) In Best. forthcoming). 3–44.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Heidrun Geryzmisch-Arbogast 4 Concluding Remarks These are but few of the multitude of research questions that multidimensional translation research opens up in the future. SCIC Universities conferences. and condensed translations. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp. 5 References Asad. I: 40–54. (1994): “How Newness Enters the World: Postmodern Space. al. London: Routledge. Cologne: Hegner. Budin. but only for the reason that it is nearer to our language” (Motto of the Leopoldo Costa Prize award. Ed. also Wagner 2007. The Location of Culture. Freiburg et. Frankfurt am Main: Insel. Marcus. 272–4.

1998. Turin: Einaudi.die aufgehende Saat. Catford. Kelletat. and Art.ce blé qui lève. Andreas F.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Heidrun Geryzmisch-Arbogast Carroll. Cambridge. (1994): Semiotics and the Problem of Translation.or bilateral relationship?. Zur Beschreibung und Übersetzung von Kultur in Texten. With Special Reference to the Semiotics of Charles S. Literature. In Zybatow. In Felix Mayer (ed.: Lang. Proceedings der 34. 35-54 -----. Göhring..& Gerzymisch-Arbogast. 117-132. Papers on Poetics and Semiotics 8. 353 zzgl. 23-30.3. Heinz (1978): “Interkulturelle Kommunikation: Die Überwindung der Trennung von Fremdsprachenund Landeskundeunterricht durch einen integrierten Fremdverhaltensunterricht”. Innsbrucker Ringvorlesungen zur Translationswissenschaft. Mary. Approaches to Translation Studies 12. Katrin & Herbst. Frankfurt: Lang. Studien zur Translation 13.. (2004): “Subtitling: Changing Standards for New Media“. Stuttgart: Hochschulverlag. Georgios (2003): Kulturelle Konstellationen in Texten. Towards a Common Translation Profile”. Vol.(1984): Semiotica e filosofia del linguaggio. Frankfurt u. -----. S.(2005): “Multidimensionale Translation”.und Kulturmittler.(2002): “Neuere Ansätze in der Übersetzungsforschung“. TTCP Series. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Angewandte Linguistik. (1994): Übersetzungswissenschaftliches Propädeutikum. Martin (2005): “Kulturtransfer oder Voice Over: Informationsstrukturen im gedolmetschten Diskurs“. James (1988): The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-Century Ethnography. Milan: Bompiani. Dinda L. Ed. Klaus (1998): Methoden des wissenschaftlichen Übersetzens. In Hartig. Even-Zohar. & Siever. Tübingen/ Basel: Francke. J. Tel Aviv: The Porter Institute for Poetics and Semiotics. Cambridge: CUP. Band 3.. Anhang mit Graphiken. 17-29. Jacques (1985/1987): “Des tours de Babel. Tübingen:Francke (UTB 1990). -----.. In Götz. Helle. Gorlée. Joanna Übersetzen und Dolmetschen. Clifford. (ed. Heidrun. Floros.(2005b): “That rising corn.V. (1965): A Linguistic Theory of Translation: An Essay in Applied Linguistics. Eco. Amsterdam: Rodopi. Derrida. -----. 4. Mainz 1977. Clyne.” In Psyché: Inventions de l’autre. & Engberg. Van. Sylvia & Best. In: UTB für Wissenschaft. Tübingen: Francke (UTB) ISBN 3-8252-2329-9. MA: Harvard UP.): 20 Jahre Transforum. 9-14. Sabine & Kohn. Kurt (eds) (2005): Sprache(n) in der Wissensgesellschaft. Translation and translation theory: uni. Thomas (eds). 171-193. Eine Orientierungshilfe. Henning (eds): Kongressberichte der 8. Interkulturelle Kommunikation: Anregungen für Sprach.. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Angewandte Linguistik (GAL) e.& Will. Paris: Galilée. Berlin:de Gruyter.& Mudersbach.(2005a): “Text und Translation”. 2004.a. C. Lew. Peirce. Dam. Itamar (1978): Papers in Historical Poetics. Tübingen: Stauffenburg. Band UTB 1990 -----. (eds) (2005): Knowledge Systems and Translation. Jan. Gerzymisch-Arbogast. Umberto (1975): Trattato di semiotica generale.(2002). Tübingen: Narr. Michael (1994/1996): Inter-Cultural Communication at Work: Cultural Values in Discourse. In Braun.. London: Oxford UP. Matthias & Wode. 203–35. Holger. -----. In TheLISA Newsletter: Globalization Insider XIII/3. -----. ZAA Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann. Heidrun.) Translationswissenschaft im interdisziplinären Dialog. La philosophie en effet. Hildesheim:Olms. In Kalina.. 12 . -----.

Roman (1959/1966): “On Linguistic Aspects of Translation”. A Model Revisited. Reuben A. Jan & Carroll. The Clarendon Lectures (Oxford University) and The Carpenter Lectures (University of Chicago) 1988. Koller. Übersetzung – Translation – Traduction: Ein internationales Handbuch zur Übersetzungsforschung – An International Encyclopedia of Translation Studies – Encyclopédie internationale des sciences de traduction. Harald (ed. Kongressbeiträge der 18. Ed. Freiburger Schriften zur romanischen Philologie 12. Saarbrücken. 1–13. Ed. Jerome (395/1973): Letter 57 to Pammachius on the best method of translating. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Koch. Handbücher zur Sprach. Wege der Forschung 8. Reclams Universal-Bibliothek 1578. Juliane (1997): Translation Quality Assessment. Berlin: de Gruyter. Rolf (1967). New York: Oxford UP. In Spillner. Martin’s Press. Ernst Kähler. Holz-Mänttäri. Bern:Franke -----. London: Benjamins Translation Library. Klaus (1988): “Eine Methode des Wissenschaftlichen Übersetzens (mit Computerunterstützung): ASPEKTRA”. Hans Joachim Störig. Stuttgart: Reclam. Humboldt. Tübingen. Linguistische Studien. Justa (1984): Translatorisches Handeln: Theorie und Methode.und Kommunikationswissenschaft. (1979): The True Interpreter: A History of Translation Theory and Practice in the West. Halle: VEB Niemeyer. Heinz D.(1979): Einführung in die Übersetzungswissenschaft. Proceedings of the Marie Curie Conference ‘Audiovisual Translation Scenarios’.et al. München: Funk. Yvonne (2000): Translation im Theater. Wilhelm von (1836): Über die Verschiedenheit des menschlichen Sprachbaues und ihren Einfluß auf die geistige Entwickelung des Menschengeschlechts. Griesel. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Angewandte Linguistik (GAL) e. On Translation. Kelly.): Angewandte Linguistik und Computer. William B. Kade. 13 . Kunold. Das Problem des Übersetzens. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift Fremdsprachen 1. New York: McGraw-Hill. Gert (1975): Translation und Translationslinguistik. Annales Academiae Scientiarum Fennicae B 226. Berlin: Schmidt. Gudykunst. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. Louis G. Mary (1998).MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Heidrun Geryzmisch-Arbogast Gambier. Ed. 2nd ed. Ivarsson. Wolfgang Buchwald. 2-6 May 2005. New York: St. Bernd (ed. Trans. 2vols.) (1988): Die literarische Übersetzung: Stand und Perspektiven ihrer Erforschung. Yves & Gottlieb. V. (1972): Grundprobleme der Übersetzungstheorie. & Mudersbach.V. Werner. 1-5 May 2006. Proceeding of the Marie Curie Conference ‘Challenges in Multidimensional Translation’. Martin (1530/1960): Sendbrief vom Dolmetschen. Tübingen. Stephen (1991): Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World. Kloepfer. Practices. Simrishamn. Luther. Göttinger Beiträge zur internationalen Übersetzungsforschung 2. Heidelberg: Quelle & Meyer. Copenhagen. Otto (1968): Zufall und Gesetzmäßigkeit in der Übersetzung. Jakobson. Die Theorie der literarischen Übersetzung: Romanisch-deutscher Sprachbereich. 67-68. Berlin: Dummler. House. Griesel. Henrik (2001): MultiMedia Translation: Concepts. Kittel. 232–9. Jäger. UTB 819. 34 Greenblatt. & Young Yun Kim (1992): Communicating with Strangers: An Approach to Intercultural Communication. Subtitling. Frankfurt:Lang. ----. and Research. Leipzig: VEB Verlag Enzyklopädie. Yvonne (to be published in 2007): “Are Theatre Surtitles an Adequate Mode of Translation? Towards an Integrative View of Translation in the Theatre”. Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia. Jan (to be published in 2007): “Musical Focussing as a Multidimensional Translation Problem”. (eds) (2005 and forthcoming). Brower.

Sapir. In Albrecht. (eds) Textologie und Translation. Vermeer (1984): Grundlegung einer allgemeinen Translationstheorie.& Hans J. Friedrich Schleiermacher’s sämmtliche Werke.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Heidrun Geryzmisch-Arbogast Malblanc. Koller & Werner. Saarbrücken.) (1993): Beyond Boundaries: Understanding. Culture and Personality. Berlin: Reimer.(2004a): “Textpaare – ein Beitrag zur Diskussion eines erweiterten Übersetzungsbegriffs”. London: Roehampton University. Peirce. Nida. 14 . -----. Annely (2003): „Text Tasks and Multilingual Text Production”.und Dolmetschwissenschaft. Jahrbuch Übersetzen und Dolmetschen. III/2: 207–45. Beihefte zur Zeitschrift Fremdsprachen 2.(2004b): “Vergleichen: ein Zugang zur Bedeutung sprachlicher Bilder”. Klaus (eds) Neue Perspektiven in der Übersetzungs. Ed. Neves. Proceedings of the Marie Curie Euroconferences MuTra ‘Challenges of Multidimensional Translation’ . ----. Tübingen: Niemeyer. Presentation at the Marie Curie Conference ‘Challenges in Multidimensional Translation’. Rothkegel. Heidrun et al. Schmitt. Methode und didaktische Anwendung einer übersetzungsrelevanten Textanalyse. -----. Linguistische Arbeiten 147. Charles R. Berkeley: University of California Press. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. In House. Tübingen:Narr (Jahrbuch 4/II Übersetzen und Dolmetschen). -----.Saarbrücken 2-6 May 2005. (1964): Toward a Science of Translating: With Special Reference to Principles and Prodecures Involved in Bible Translating. Simone (2005): “German Sign Language – Translation in the Field of Computer Science“. Katharina (1971): Möglichkeiten und Grenzen der Übersetzungskritik. Proceeding of the Marie Curie Conference ‘Challenges in Multidimensional Translation’. (ed. James Hoopes. Edward (1968): Selected Writings of Edward Sapir in Language. Tübingen: Francke. Leiden: Brill. Stuttgart: Klett. Scholl. (1991): Peirce on Signs: Writings on Semiotics. Saarbrücken. Neves. Explorations in Anthropology. 1-20. Charles S. Neuere Foschungsfragen in der Diskussion. Josélia (to be published in 2007): “Conveying the sound of emotion in Subtitling for the Deaf and HoH (SDH)“. Tübingen: Stauffenburg. Oxford: Berg. Friedrich (1813/1838): “Ueber die verschiedenen Methoden des Uebersezens”. Josélia (2005) Subtitling fort he Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing. 6). Bochum: AKS-Verlag 2004 (= Fremdsprachen in Lehre und Forschung 35). Peter (1999): Translation und Technik. Mandelbaum. Jörn et al. Minako (2007): “Multidimensional Translation: A Game Plan for Audiovisual Translation in the Age of GILT“. Leiden:Brill Nord. Pálsson. Leipzig: VEB Verlag Enzyklopädie. Festschrift für Werner Koller. (1969): The Theory and Practice of Translation. Kategorien und Kriterien für eine sachgerechte Beurteilung von Übersetzungen. Christiane (1988): Textanalyse und Übersetzen: Theoretische Grundlagen. (eds) Übersetzung – Translation – Traduction. Alfred (1961): Stylistique comparée du français et de l'allemand : essai de représentation linguistique comparée et étude de traduction.(1993). Einführung in das funktionale Übersetzen: Am Beispiel von Titeln und Überschriften. O’Hagan. UTB 1734.) (1968): Grundfragen der Übersetzungswissenschaft. München: Hueber. Neubert. Schubert. Ed. Translation and Anthropological Discourse. Band 5. Schleiermacher. In GerzymischArbogast. Heidelberg: Groos. (= Studien zur Translation. David G. Tübingen:Narr. Gísli.Taber. Eugene A. Reiss. PhD Thesis. Albrecht (ed. 2-6 May 2005. -----. Juliane. 2-6 May 2005.

Gideon (1995): Descriptive Translation Studies. Benjamin Lee (1956): Language.I. rev. In Übersetzen und Dolmetschen. Jean (1958): Stylistique comparé du français et de l'anglais. Frankfurt u. Wagner. Whorf. 15 . Foreword Stuart Chase. Amsterdam: Benjamins. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 225-249. Carroll. George (1992): After Babel: Aspects of Language and Translation. Innsbrucker Ringvorlesungen zur Translationswissenschaft. Paris: Didier. Band 3. Snell-Hornby.) (2003): “Integrative Fachkommunikation“. Cambridge.a. Vinay. Mary (1988): Translation Studies: An Integrated Approach. Technologie. Mathias (2007): “How to make a haptic device help touch virtual histological slides”. Jean-Paul & Darbelnet. 2-6 May 2005. and Reality: Selected Writings. Wolfram (1977): Übersetzungswissenschaft: Probleme und Methoden. Toury. Modelle. Steiner. Wilss. MA: M. Stuttgart: Klett. Ed. Proceedings of the Marie Curie Conference ‘Challenges in Multidimensional Translation’. Methoden.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Heidrun Geryzmisch-Arbogast Schubert. Zybatow. Lew (ed) (2005): Translationswissenschaft im interdisziplinären Dialog. Press.T. Tübingen:Narr (Jahrbuch 4/I Übersetzen und Dolmetschen). Saarbrücken. and intro. Thought. John B. Klaus (ed. 2nd. ed. London: Oxford UP.

in the solid establishment of DVD in our society. and also on the perception of subtitling we have as spectators and consumers. e. in the design of specific software for subtitling.g. And what is today considered innovative and advanced might soon cease to be so. The first subtitling equipment was marketed in the second half of the nineteen-seventies and. 1 The technological revolution Without any doubt. and it could be argued that in the field of subtitling the impact has been even greater. has been perfected until arriving at the generations that are available today. with the launch of many computer programs designed exclusively for subtitling work. Subtitling programs that a few years ago required a computer. in the way in which we as spectators consume audiovisual programs. This article proposes to investigate how some of the technological changes that have recently taken place in this field are affecting this translating mode. especially through the Internet. the most significant development to have radically affected the essence of this profession has been the possibility of digitizing the image. over time. The subtitling praxis has undergone an important transformation in a relatively short period of time. in the ease with which material can be accessed for research. The computer has been one of the advances to have greatly changed the world of translation in general. Focusing on interlingual subtitling in a variety of language combinations. with all the associated advantages and inconveniences. What was habitual practice ten or fifteen years ago in the spotting and simulation of subtitles has now become history. and in subtitling in particular. in a greater dynamism in the traffic of audiovisual material. One of the most striking factors is the surprising speed with which these changes have taken place. It is no exaggeration to claim that digital technology is altering our perception of the audiovisual world and our relationship to it.EU-High-Level Scientific Conference Series MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Jorge Díaz Cintas (London) Back to the Future in Subtitling Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 The technological revolution DVD is here to stay Low quality? New conventions in interlingual subtitling By way of a conclusion Acknowledgements References Abstract Audiovisual translation (AVT) in general. and in the appearance of new types of subtitling. The shift from analog to digital technology has had a great impact upon work practices. I take a look at the different conventions that have started to crop up in commercialised DVD subtitled programs and that diverge acutely from what up until now has been considered standard practice in interlingual subtitling. which to a large degree determines it. as well as a video player and an © Copyright 2005-2007 by MuTra 16 . The technical advances taking place in this area can have an immediate and considerable impact both on the subtitling practice from the practitioner’s perspective. has an umbilical relationship with technology.

is sufficient for the professional to undertake many of the tasks involved in subtitling. At present. synchronize their own subtitles with the image on the screen and simulate what will be the final copy. automatic translation undertaken within the context of subtitling has for years been an incipient reality in the USA. which has also had an adverse effect on the teaching of this discipline.translatetv. A reasonably high technical knowledge. do the translation. as a result. The USA has a long history of subtitling for the deaf and the hard-of-hearing. and a digitized copy of the audiovisual program to be subtitled. offers an automatic translation service in Spanish (www. having already borne some fruit in the preparation of live subtitles for the deaf and the hard-of-hearing. these tools have had a very important impact on translation practice. use a spell checker. Although still far from being entirely satisfactory. Bush becoming literally el señor Arbusto in Spanish. as well as an ability to quickly familiarize with new programs and specifications is now expected of subtitlers. Inc.e. these freelancer versions are easier to use. files containing master English subtitles to be translated into other languages). A practice that is gaining ground consists of offering to the freelance subtitler a version of the subtitling program which. they appear to be more effective for working with documents characterized by a high level of lexical repetition. Some programs incorporate a function that shows changes in soundtrack volume and so helps to speed the spotting of the original dialog. On the one hand. Unless working with templates (i. with examples like Mr.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jorge Díaz Cintas external television monitor in order to undertake all the necessary stages of the work. the company Global Translation. For the translator working only sporadically in this area. as many universities and educational institutions find themselves unable to invest large sums of money in computer equipment which require a high level of technical attention and which evolve at a dizzying speed. One of the most serious obstacles for the subtitler has traditionally been the prohibitive price of these subtitling programs. or for those who receive templates in English with the spotting already done by the subtitling company. Because they have fewer functions.e. Shot changes can also be automatically detected these days and voice recognition is another area in which much work is being done. In the toolbox of machine assisted translation. It is clear that the application of corpus studies to translation is an avenue of research that has yielded fruit in other areas of translation such as technical and specialized translation. Mention has to be made of the development in translation memory tools which store previously translated sentences and allow the user to recall them as a base for a new translation. subtitlers these days usually require a computer. while not offering the full functionality of the program. 17 .com). This equipment allows them to spot the dialog exchanges in the original. a subtitling program. Based on computational linguistic analysis at an advanced level. Subtitlers have to be conversant with the information and communication technologies. But it is also true that they have changed the work profile expected of subtitlers. from English to English – for these social groups. reduce the cost of the work. are today obsolete. although their value in the case of AVT is questionable and still to be researched. Technology and computers have had a direct impact upon the subtitling praxis and have made life easier for all those working in the world of subtitling. Linguistic competence and sociocultural and subject knowledge are no longer sufficient in order to be able to operate effectively in this profession. the complete set of subtitling equipment is perhaps unnecessary. they require less technical preparation on the part of the translators. Through an automatic translation program. these attempts are aimed at meeting certain social needs. The functionality of these programs is being constantly revised with a view to maximize the subtitlers’ productivity and. and on the other they minimize the risk of the subtitler getting lost in the handling of programs which may be complicated. manifested in high percentages of intralingually subtitled audiovisual programs – i. but which still appears not to have made its entry into the field of AVT.

or done only very occasionally on some VHS tapes. including selected filmographies and biographies of the main actors. Neither dubbing nor voice-over are normally used for the translation of this material. Subtitles are usually the preferred approach. its rise has been unstoppable: “DVD became the most successful consumer electronics product of all time in less than three years of its introduction. which has meant a considerable increase in the volume of subtitling work in the past few years (cf. are later sold on DVD in both dubbed and subtitled versions. on the whole. actors or heads of the production and special effects teams. extra material. and up to 32 subtitle tracks in several other languages. six years after introduction. these subtitles are transmitted as an independent signal which is activated by accessing a teletext page – 888 in the UK for instance – and their social function is to meet the needs of the deaf 18 . They are launched in the cinema dubbed. has been intense since old films that had previously been distributed on VHS have had to be transferred into the new DVD medium. a selection of photographs.e. a potential recognized by the audiovisual industry. Italian. implying the translation of a source language into a target language. and it has changed subtitling as a translation practice. together with the commercial interests of certain companies. But it is not only old films that have taken advantage of this situation. Since bursting onto the market. Examples are the dubbing into English of films like Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. Sex and the City or The Simpsons. Perhaps its most significant advantage is the possibility of incorporating up to 8 versions of the same program dubbed into different languages. have contributed to a change in the habits of viewers who have. Today. but are later marketed also with subtitles on DVD. inter-active menus in different languages. a distinction has been made. in which there is no change of language: Spanish dialog is subtitled in Spanish. in addition to the film. there were over 250 million DVD playback devices worldwide” (DVD Demystified. Sometimes the duration of this bonus material is longer than the film itself and. Crouching Tiger. It is having the greatest impact in the way audiovisual programs are sold and marketed. Television series that are normally broadcast dubbed on Spanish. to give just a few examples). The DVD is a versatile disc on which audio and video material as well as all types of electronic documents can be recorded and reproduced. dubbing for DVD of films that were originally marketed only with subtitles – has also occurred. Friends. although very similar to the CD. Life is Beautiful. Its large memory capacity makes it possible to offer material on the same DVD that a few years ago was not marketed at all. The possibility of incorporating up to 32 subtitling tracks on one DVD has given rise to new realities in AVT. German or French television (Ally McBeal. France. where subtitling has been historically marginal. Hidden Dragon and Betty Blue. also known in American English as captioning. have now awoken to the reality that most of the film releases and television programs are both dubbed and subtitled. grosso modo. The impact upon the AVT profession. Gottlieb 2007). practically all DVDs contain. is essentially faster and has a greater memory capacity. Germany or Italy. interviews with the director. requires translating. In 2003. though to a lesser extent given that it is a far more expensive activity. between two types of subtitling. The same thing happens with some of the most recent films. On television. The inverse situation – i.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jorge Díaz Cintas 2 DVD is here to stay The arrival of DVD can be considered the most significant advance in our field. It is a new generation of optical disc that. and the intralingual. 2004). copies of the trailers used for publicity etc. embraced DVD and rejected VHS. compared with VHS tape. Traditionally. having been recorded in a different language. It is no longer only art films that are subtitled but also the major studios’ releases since the production of subtitled versions requires a relatively small investment. for their distribution on DVD. Traditional dubbing countries such as Spain. and particularly subtitling. however. The interlingual. The superior technical virtues of DVD.

This is achieved by changing the actors’ dialog into written speech which also incorporates. This type of subtitling. other languages such as Spanish. On the one hand. American films such as Thelma & Louise or Annie Hall incorporate two subtitle tracks in German – one for the hearers and one SDH. it is in my opinion undeniable that quality standards in subtitling have seen a sharp decline in recent years. For the most comprehensive account on SDH to date see Neves (2005). notably English1. such as Portugal. Given that the translating custom of these four countries has been to dub the vast majority of their foreign programming. Unfortunately. such as intralingual SDH. France or Italy. French or Portuguese lag behind in these new developments and at present it does not appear to be a practice which is undertaken. the members of these communities in countries with a dubbing tradition. The reasons for this development are manifold. greater visibility: interlingual subtitles for the deaf and the hard-of-hearing.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jorge Díaz Cintas and the hard-of-hearing in order to assure greater access to audiovisual programming. this taxonomy has systematically ignored a professional practice that has already existed for several years and is acquiring. Historically. could only see programs that had been originally produced in Spanish. known as subtitling for the deaf and the hard-of-hearing (SDH). the deaf and the hard-of-hearing have had difficulty in accessing the information contained in these programs. French or Italian and subsequently subtitled into their respective languages. among other things. pressure groups in countries such as Germany. even when these are evidently inappropriate to their needs. whilst some others have a solid background in AVT although in related areas. has been made more widespread thanks to DVD. a telephone ringing. Greece and the Scandinavian countries. Similarly. and more particularly in subtitling.g. the knock on a door or a car revving. all the paratextual information that contributes to the development of the plot or the creation of atmosphere that the deaf are unable to access through the soundtrack. Germany. a growing number of films in a growing number of languages are being distributed with an intralingual subtitled track. the deaf have normally been served by the same interlingual subtitles as the hearing. thanks to DVD. Spanish films like Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown are marketed on DVD with two interlingual subtitle tracks in English and a further two in German. With the arrival of DVD the situation has changed and is continuing to change. such as Spain. 19 . Their fight has borne fruit in the passing of legislation in many Western countries making it compulsory for television stations to broadcast a certain percentage of their programs with SDH. The hike in the demand for subtitled programs has brought about a mushrooming of companies working in AVT. Although it is clear that subjectivity can play a big role in identifying what is wrong or of low quality in subtitling. German. In other nations with more of a tradition in subtitling. Some of these companies are new players in the field. However. and it has undergone a spectacular growth in some languages. e. the UK and Italy have managed to get many foreign films marketed in their countries with two different interlingual subtitle tracks: one for the hearing and one which takes into account the needs of the deaf. On the other. which might not have the necessary expertise when dealing with this type of translation. Poor working conditions are also to blame for this 1 This is probably the most rapidly growing AVT type today. Thus. 3 Low quality? For a long time now there has been a growing concern among many professionals about the relatively low levels of quality that can be found in some subtitled programs. It is only through pressure groups demanding changes in this area that social advances directed towards facilitating access to the media for all can be achieved. greatly due to the success of pressure groups lobbying on behalf of this section of the audience.

Some of the most noticeable pitfalls occur at the technical level: inappropriate spotting of original dialog. this practice is starting to be questioned in two different ways. low legibility. unfortunate choice of font. All the examples used here are authentic and come from audiovisual programs currently on sale. absence of proper in-house guidelines. awkward presentation on screen etc. 1: 20 . When two actors are speaking in the same subtitle. My interest lies primarily in the form and layout. national or international level – of a consensus in regard to quality in interlingual subtitling. the dialog uttered by the second speaker immediately follows the first speaker. or of a body responsible for ensuring the application of a minimum standard of quality. the first of these new approaches ignores the traditional line break of the subtitle. Does anybody want a drink? -Yes. I intend to offer a descriptive account of some of the new ways in which subtitles are being presented nowadays on some of our screens. as can be seen in Fig. little training for newcomers. it is not my intention in these pages to enter a debate about a possible decline in standards. The priority is to include as much information as possible in the subtitle. The two following subtitles are common in the profession: -Does anybody want a drink? -Yes. one of the most deeply entrenched subtitling conventions has been to show each of the enunciates on a separate line. more and more precarious freelancing. little time for doing enough research and impossible deadlines do little to boost the morale of translators and to stimulate a positive working ethos. A less slack attitude on the part of some technicians will undoubtedly contribute to better standards. which may or may not be preceded by a dash. Thus. and.esist. is reserved for the first character who speaks and the second. However. and not so much in the content and the linguistic transfer that has taken place. It can also be argued that the absence – be it at local. which is always preceded by a dash. The attempts made by Ivarsson and Carroll (1998: 157-159) to propose a code of good subtitling practice stemming from proposals put forward by the European Association for Studies in Screen Translation (www. Ever lower pay rates for translators. 4 New conventions in interlingual subtitling 4.1 Dialogue techniques When indicating to the viewer that the subtitle on screen is showing what two characters are saying. which gives a line to each of the two speakers. We cannot forget that subtitling is the result of a team effort and the decline in standards must not be blamed solely on the figure of the translator. the segmentation that is now proposed is based on criteria more concerned with lexical density than with aesthetics or tradition. Although some of the solutions reached in the examples that I analyze below can be unequivocally considered instances of poor have not borne the fruit for which many hoped. In what is clearly an attempt to make a more rational use of the space available for the subtitle.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jorge Díaz Cintas decline. the first line. for the second speaker. starting in the very same line. has favored this situation. Rather. in order to do that.

MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jorge Díaz Cintas Fig. 2) in which three turntakings are fit into one subtitle in order to make the most of the space and time limitations: Fig. or speech turn. this ancillary device distorts the artistic work of the director of photography as well as the narrative work of the filmmaker. is to be translated. It is for this reason that 21 . They are not an artistic creation but a necessary evil that we have to cope with in order to gain access to programs in other languages. 1: Stargate Another convention that is being subverted refers to the number of speakers that we can encounter in the same subtitle. we also find instances (Fig. For some. Once more.2 Number of lines One of the most consistent and recurrent criticisms against subtitles has been directed towards the fact that they pollute the photography and distract our attention from what is going on in the image. Following a pattern similar to the one seen in the above example. tradition has dictated that a maximum of two actors and two turn-takings can share the same subtitle (one per line). They are text added a posteriori and were never intended to be an integral part of the artwork. 2: Stargate 4. A new subtitle needs to be cued in when a third speaker. as it is superimposed on the original images.

in some like Turkey the use of three lines is relatively common. or at least one of the two lines. such as SDH. only two lines of subtitles have been used in interlingual subtitling as opposed to other modes. The reasons behind this approach are not self evident and it is difficult to justify a presentation like the one in Fig. where in some cases two lines are for the Finnish/French translation and the other two lines for the translation in Swedish/Flemish. and rather arbitrarily. as in the example in Fig. the format of the film is sometimes taken advantage of to place the subtitles. as can be seen for instance in Figures 2 and 5. beneath the actual image. Four lines are also frequent in places where bilingual subtitling is done. which count on subtitles of three and even four lines2.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jorge Díaz Cintas traditionally. It is therefore surprising. In fact. 3: Fig. and three-liners are starting to crop up in some films. 4: Dune 2 Although the convention to resort to a maximum of two lines has prevailed in most countries. 3: Night of the Living Dead But this most generalized convention of having a maximum of two lines is also being challenged. that some films are marketed with a lot of space between the two subtitle lines. 22 . such as in Finland and Belgium. to say the least. 4 where exactly the same information could easily be redistributed in two lines: Fig. which unnecessarily occupy and contaminate a substantial part of the screen. The two lines are normally placed at the bottom of the screen so as to interfere as little as possible with the image.

on: www. in which historically just one color has been used throughout the entire program: white or yellow.3 Use of colors One of the main differences between interlingual and intralingual subtitles has been their different approach to the use of colors. 5: Lady Snowblood. The following figures illustrate situations when colors are used3: Fig.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jorge Díaz Cintas 4.pdf. bottom line in green/ red) 3 Most of the stills in this paper are also available.euroconferences. In this respect. Given that hearing viewers can retrieve all these details effortlessly from the original soundtrack. SDH has always been more chromatically rich than subtitling for hearers. Colors are used to help speaker identification and to inform deaf viewers about sound effects and particular tones of voice to which they do not have access auditorily. Love Song of Vengeance (both lines are in yellow) perhaps due to the fact that this approach is very innovative and is still not settled in the profession. In the English subtitles of some Japanese films this departure from traditional conventions is expressed in the use of a palette of four different colors throughout the same film. Teletext subtitling permits the use of up to seven different colors for text. the use of colors has been deemed to be irrelevant in interlingual subtitling. Once again. Their choice of colors to relay information does not seem to be very systematic. 7: Zatoichi’s Pilgrimage (top line in yellow. 23 . in color. bottom line in green) Fig. although not all of them are satisfactory for subtitling due to their poor legibility on screen. 6: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons (top line in yellow. bottom line in blue) Fig. 8: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons (top line in yellow. we can purchase programs and films that resort to an unprecedented use of colors in our field.

6) and in some other films in cyan or blue (Fig. The unorthodox convention of accommodating three speakers in the very same subtitle is also implemented in these films. 7). be it a one-liner or a two-liner. It is the only color used when the subtitle. Green is also used in some movies to indicate that the voices that we hear are off-screen and to translate the content of songs. as seen in Fig. 5). 9: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons 24 . 8. The other color that is regularly used is white. Fig. instances that normally call for italics. whereas the character in the second line appears in some films in green (Fig. and to identify them yellow. second and third actors respectively. the first line is always in yellow. Fig.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jorge Díaz Cintas Yellow is the main color for the translation of dialog. When the subtitle incorporates two speakers (Figures 6 and 7). 9 below shows us one of its multiple usages. which is to translate the opening and closing credits of a film. renders the translation of one actor’s speech (Fig. green and red are assigned to the first.

setting the context in which the rest of the plot fits. usually overlooked in other subtitled programs. such as keeping punch lines separate. interlingual subtitling is also resorting to this strategy. They do not seem to add any new information in interlingual subtitling. From using colors on teletext. and although innovative. gone in the opposite direction. as opposed to SDH. 1984: 20-21) or cumulative subtitles (BBC 1998: 9) to allow two – exceptionally three – turns appearing in the same subtitle but not at the very same time. Aping SDH. the technician has been unable to avoid the rather abrupt line break that takes place from the third to the fourth line. that in Kanji characters appear in the second line. In an apparent attempt to fit all the information of the original into the subtitles. while this first utterance remains on screen. which is not as well known and widespread as English. This technique is applied when delaying part of the information is important for dramatic considerations. SDH also makes sporadic use of what is known as the overlay technique (Baker et al. the order in which the credits are presented in English does not follow the Japanese. it has moved to being monochromatic – usually white – when distributed on DVD. They cannot know whether these are the opening credits of the film. The other side of the coin will be to argue that they try to guide the viewer with an unfamiliar language like Japanese. It goes without saying that this approach loads the reading effort of the viewer and contributes to create a somewhat overpowering feeling. paradoxically. Rather than having two subtitles of two lines projected one after the other. Colors. and more interesting from the presentation point of view. The details about lighting.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jorge Díaz Cintas This arguably over-zealous attitude on the part of the distribution company to offer a full and detailed account of this type of information. could help viewers to identify speakers. or whether they are a forward. is the way the spotting has been done. The second part of the text appears in synch with the second speaker and is added to the first part. with too much writing packed in on the screen. and will need a full translation to avoid deception. have moved to the end of the bottom line in the English subtitle. What is also unusual in this example. each one is allocated a line and both appear at the same time on the screen. It can be easily assumed that Western audiences will not be familiar with the Japanese alphabets. when two speakers appear in the same subtitle. All parts leave the screen at the same time. 4.4 Cumulative subtitles According to tradition. One way to evaluate this new practice is to consider that colors call undue attention to the subtitles and detract from the photography. they are rather unnecessary. or to follow the rhythm of a song. Despite this juggling of information. as mentioned previously. This chromatic revolution in DVD subtitles for hearers contrasts sharply with the evolution encountered in SDH that has. they have preferred to offer two two-liners at the same time: one at the top and the other at the bottom of the screen. could be explained by the fact that the original language on the screen does not have the currency of other languages like English. Kanji in this instance. in some instances. as can be seen in Figures 10 and 11: 25 .

translation of the same text 26 . It can be argued that these sections will not be those most watched by viewers. as this format can incorporate metafilmic information about the making of the film or about the actors and. they cannot pass on their knowledge to the viewers or justify their personal approach to the translation. Despite this proviso. However. drama and poetry. with goodwill. rather than disappearing. and to explain why subtitlers cannot resort to metalinguistic devices such as footnotes. prologues or afterwords in order to justify their solutions. From a technical point of view. the subtitler has to accept the impossibility of resorting to the metatextual note as an aid to his work”. From the technical point of view. since the second actor’s sentence will always appear on screen irremediably before it having been uttered. while at the same time I offered a ray of hope by speculating that “the hint of an improvement can be seen with DVD.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jorge Díaz Cintas Fig. To display simultaneously the speech of two different actors goes clearly against this rule. there is no obstacle to the incorporation of more precise information on the translation as part of the bonus material. if the constraints imposed by the medium are too stringent. The large memory capacity of DVD means that this highly attractive possibility could become reality. 1988: 21). perhaps a general note by the translator might also be included” (my translation). 10: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons Fig. cumulative subtitles would seem to be the obvious solution to this dilemma as they have the advantage of respecting the synch recommendation.5 Metatextual information The space and time limitations to which subtitling is subjected have frequently been invoked to foreground its specificity as a translation mode. bottom line in green) One of the golden rules in interlingual subtitling is that the in and out cueing of a subtitle should coincide with the beginning and the end of the corresponding speech segment. In areas like literature. in the professional practice the overlay technique is rarely implemented and subtitlers are discouraged from resorting to it because it tends to cause some perceptual confusion when read (Baker et al. Even if they have fully understood the punning in the original or the obscure cultural reference. AVT translators and film enthusiasts who are interested in material of this kind. such as film theorists. but it is clear that the profile of the DVD consumer is heterogeneous and it seems reasonable to claim that there will always be people. it seems to be spreading to the world of interlingual subtitling. I stated that: “As things stand presently. In an earlier publication (Díaz Cintas 2003: 46). 11: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons (top line in yellow. 4.

Today. and their color is white. and the widespread belief that the best subtitles are the ones that are not noticed. this approach questions preconceived ideas about the visibility or invisibility of the subtitler. Kayahara (2005: 68) also cites the example of the Japanese film Princess Mononoke. it might be said that we are slowly moving in that direction. Fiona. From a translational perspective. released on DVD in North America with a brief interview with the translator of the film into English. Spain. Although this approach to the subject can be considered somewhat frivolous and anecdotal in that it does not focus on specific problems of translation. One example is Shrek. and to satisfy the needs of different viewers. be it in the form of footnotes or glosses. which attempts to bring the techniques of dubbing to the viewer in a playful way. but a nuisance for the general reader. Mexico. it helps to raise a certain degree of awareness about the whole translation issue and opens new possibilities of talking and reflecting about translation that were unthinkable until very recently. with specific references to Italy. has always been out of the question in our field. which offers information on the dubbing of the film in more than twenty countries. SDH has always resorted to the use of labels in order to convey information that would otherwise elude the deaf and hard-of-hearing viewer. on the profile of the intended readership. Figures 14 and 15 offer the explanation of certain cultural references by means of some rather unobtrusive glosses. the imperative of having to synchronize original dialog and subtitles. You can be the voice of Donkey. Germany. In interlingual subtitling. 13 illustrates a conventional gloss in which the original term jitte is left in the translation and immediately explained in between brackets in the line below. and then translated in English as The Crossroads to Hell. seem to confirm the idea that it is actually impossible to add any extra information alongside the translation. In fact. And poetry can be translated in verse or prose depending. whereas they will be eliminated when the readership is expected to be broader. France and Brazil. which can be found not only in these films but also in many others belonging to the same genre. In the same way. Lord Farquaad or a fairy tale creature in one of 12 hilarious and fun scenes!”. The interference and presence of the translator through metatextual interventions in the film itself. we come across an instance in which the Japanese Kanji characters in blue have been first transliterated in Roman alphabet. once again. 12. Once again. These are undoubtedly some of the most interesting and daring examples mentioned up to this point. using a different color. A play can be differently translated depending on whether it will be performed or simply read. In Fig. Fig. there could be several approaches to subtitling. 27 . It also contains a section called ReVoice Studio. Addressing the viewer. The DVD of this film includes the documentary International Dubbing Featurette. the need to stay within a maximum of two lines per subtitle.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jorge Díaz Cintas takes on different manifestations. In a rather bold and unconventional way. we can already find films on the market that contain extra material centered on the translation process. Shrek. translators make their unequivocal appearance on the screen. Literary works aimed at the philological scholar may be translated with many footnotes. Parallel texts with lots of notes may be a blessing for the language learner. Meifumado. the DVD claims that you can “[r]ecord your voice over your favorite character’s dialog lines and star in entire scenes of the movie. subtitling for DVD appears to be breaking old taboos and offering a wide range of new opportunities.

bottom line in yellow) 28 . bottom line in white) Fig. 12: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons (all three lines in white) Fig. albeit in a much more disruptive and innovative way: Fig.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jorge Díaz Cintas Fig. 13: Zatoichi’s Pilgrimage (top line in yellow. 15: A Touch of Spice The same strategy of leaving and explaining foreign terms is applied in Figures 16 and 17. 14: A Touch of Spice Fig. 17: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons (top line in white. 16: Baby Cart in the Land of Demons (top line in white. bottom line in yellow) Fig.

in comparison with cinema or television. In an audiovisual market dominated at an international level by USA mainstream movies and iconography. By analogy to footnotes. At present these two subtitle tracks appear simultaneously on screen. The profile of the consumer of these programs has to be by necessity different to that of the average viewer and it is this primary conception of the receiver that would seem to legitimize the use of metatextual notes. boys on the upper line explanation and the image of a girl. this way of presenting the information becomes a real challenge for the viewer because of the short time it appears on screen and its innovative nature. The reasons are manifold. have accelerated the flow and exchange of audiovisual materials. but that the very essence of subtitling and the conventions applied are also in flux. After the initial success 29 . The development and spread of digital technology. Reading this information takes on a full new twist. With the arrival of DVD it is clear that not only is professional practice changing. in a development which in itself would be worthy of study. Japanophiles who watch this type of film to expand their knowledge of the Japanese culture and language. the DVD could easily be designed so that both tracks were independent and viewers could decide whether to have just one track activated (the subtitles) or the two (subtitles and notes) at the same time. these new subtitles could be called headnotes or topnotes. viewers are here meant to read first the information that appears at the bottom of the screen and then raise their eyes to the top of the screen to start reading the metalinguistic information about the translation. Without entering into an evaluation of the potentially disconcerting effect in Fig. However. one of the main conclusions that can be drawn is that we are living a period characterized by extraordinary dynamism and creative activity in the world of subtitling in general.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jorge Díaz Cintas The duration on screen of both subtitles is some four and six seconds respectively. and DVD subtitling in particular. This translating strategy could also be exploited. Another reason for the implementation of this strategy is that DVD. This approach is clearly feasible and would certainly make the most of interactivity in the age of digital technology. in my opinion. in a slightly modified form. We are dealing here with potential viewers highly interested in the Japanese way of living. This climate of change and innovation is. as well as the fact that the dialog exchanges are in Japanese/Greek and the cultural references may be somewhat cryptic. justifies this assumption. with other types of less marginal films. 5 By way of a conclusion In view of the panorama presented here. based on aesthetics and plot conventions that diverge from the Hollywood canon. it seems reasonable to assume that consumers of these more exotic films will not be thick on the ground. The use of a different film language. Against habit. at odds with normal practice. which is very little time for a viewer to read all four lines of text. 14 of the use of the possessive her in the translation. It has many advantages to make it the preferred mode in the AVT world. but three are crucial: it is the fastest. allows the viewer greater control in that the projection can be stopped or rewound when considered necessary. somewhat reminiscent of the exhilaration witnessed during the early years in the history of cinema. Of the various AVT modes. the most economical and the most flexible as it can be used for the translation of almost all types of audiovisual programs. fuelled by our society’s cult of the image. Subtitling is rapidly becoming the preferred AVT mode on the Internet. subtitling has experienced the fastest and greatest growth in the market and it will continue along these lines for the foreseeable future. This boom and exponential growth has allowed for the emergence of new voices – voices of dissent that subvert rules and conventions traditionally considered standard in the delivery of subtitles.

To create subtitles has become reasonably easy these days. we can watch the television on our PC or laptop and use the television set as a computer. We are dealing with an active rather than passive viewer. they would also experiment with the incorporation of text in the image itself by means of letters. The consumer is genuinely interested in the foreign culture and language and the acculturation of terms is avoided. They seem to be interchangeable. but also transliterated. DVD has altered the way in which we consume audiovisual programs. Interactivity is a buzzword and its potential is enormous. Despite the belief upheld by some cinematographers that the new medium was to be based solely on images and that the use of the written word in a film was totally objectionable. If history is cyclical. The average viewer is increasingly more deeply immersed in the world of the image and has a greater familiarity with new technologies. Drawing a parallel. Paradoxically. these conventions are not so much “new” as “borrowed” from other instances where subtitles are also used. in an attempt to find a new expressive language. this compelling drive to be creative seems to be counteracted in DVD SDH where the trend appears to be going in the opposite direction. giving viewers an unusual degree of control as to the linguistic combination in which they wish to watch a program. Computer subtitling programs have become much more affordable and accessible. From where can this creativity drive be traced? Digital technology has to be one of the main answers. The Internet has fully come of age. without forgetting the many trials at incorporating the written word during the silent era. The profile of this new viewer might well be one of the reasons informing the changes we have observed. more importance seems to be given to the actual cultural referent than to a “correct” translation. notes or posters with a diegetic value. as can be seen in the dramatic 30 . notably video games and fansubs. both interlingual and SDH. with most computers equipped with DVD readers and burners. and inexplicably. However. emoticons. and a limited range of dynamic icons and symbols. for instance. The television and the computer appear to be converging into one same screen offering very similar functions. filmmakers started to play with more complex and interesting formal properties to keep the public’s interest. we seem to be going back in time to propose new practices that look ahead and which might well become routine in the future. And to do so. as it offers a great deal of technical potential for the development of new conventions in subtitling. with many of them being available free on the net. We encounter a new viewer avid for information and. cumulative subtitles. neutralizing the use of colors – as mentioned above – and avoiding the displacement of subtitles to indicate who is speaking. the use of colors. Indeed. directors would play with intertitles. experiments in the area started early. Despite their apparent innovative nature. explicative glosses and metalinguistic headnotes in interlingual subtitling could be considered the fruit of the contemporary agitation that welcomes the advent of a new breakthrough in mass communication: the digital era. In the first instance. the subtitler is prepared to go to great lengths such as the revolutionary use of headnotes and glosses on the screen. scholars like Neves (2005) are already working in this direction and putting forward proposals in SDH that are intrinsically linked to the potential offered by digital technology. therefore. such as the incorporation into the subtitles of smilies.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jorge Díaz Cintas of the new medium. In the examples offered. Virtually every approach was considered worthwhile exploring. new approaches might be lurking around the corner. Later. from strategies to create coherent spatial and temporal relations within narratives to the coming of sound. Interlingual subtitles have been traditionally a lot more conventional than SDH and that is why they offer the subtitler more scope to be creative. Never before has there been such a close relationship between films and computers as we see now. predecessors of the subtitles. even the initial credits of the film are not only translated. It has also changed our perception of audiovisual materials and offered us greater choice. an occurrence unheard of in our field that throws into disarray previously upheld notions about the translator’s visibility or invisibility in AVT. Today.

2005).dvddemystified. Little research has been done to date in this field (Bogucki. In the first instance. As yet. but it would be hugely interesting to research and analyze these new practices in detail. Gunilla (eds) Audiovisual Translation: Language Transfer on the Screen. Andrew & Rowston. some aficionados prefer to use the term subbing. Are they the trademark of just a few DVD authoring companies? Will they migrate to other language combinations? The current situation is not clearly defined. Barcelona: Ariel. 7 References Baker. In fact. forthcoming.html 31 . the linguistic barrier and on the other. ahead of cinema and television. will spread to other media. and Neus González for sending me the still from the film Dune.php DVD Demystified (2004): DVD Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers).org/issue06/ Bogucki. The Journal of Specialised Translation 6: In Díaz Cintas.fansubs. Subtitling conventions are not set in stone and only time will tell whether these conventions are just a mere fleeting fashion or whether they are the seed of a new type of subtitling for a new distribution format. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. in order to emphasize the peculiar nature of the activity. but nowadays it has spread to other linguistic combinations and other audiovisual programs such as films. the most innovative approaches seen here occur when subtitling from Japanese to English (cf. it is difficult to tell whether the solutions seen here. and to see whether any points of contact can be established with other more traditional practices. Díaz Cintas and Muñoz Sánchez 2006. Ferrer Simó.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jorge Díaz Cintas increase of translating practices like fansubs ( Jorge & Anderman. when it emerged as an attempt to popularize the Japanese cartoons known as manga and anime. We seem to be witnessing a process of hybridization where different subtitling approaches and strategies are competing. instead of subtitling. 6 Acknowledgements I would like to thank Enrique Planells Artigot for bringing to my attention the examples of the Japanese films. www. Despite the questionable legality of this activity. or some of them. As far as languages are concerned.jostrans. Łukasz (forthcoming): “Amateur Subtitling on the Internet”. Interlingual subtitling on DVD seems to be leading the way to change. Winchester: Independent Broadcasting Authority. Jorge (2003): Teoría y práctica de la subtitulación: inglés/español. London: BBC. The option was to subtitle these programs themselves. Guy (1984): Handbook for Television Subtitlers. O’Hagan 2007). the philosophy underlying this subtitling is the free distribution over the Internet of audiovisual programs with subtitles done by fans. in all likelihood because of its digital nature. www. the scant distribution of these series in their respective countries. www. Pablo (2006): “Fansubs: Audiovisual Translation in an amateur environment”. Díaz Cintas. Díaz Cintas. Robert & Lambourne. The origins of fansubbing go back to the eighties. this practice dealt solely with Japanese anime into English. Jorge & Muñoz Sánchez. BBC (1998): BBC Subtitling Guide. European and American fans wanted to watch their favorite programs but were faced with two main problems: on the one hand. This new form of subtitling “by fans for fans” lies at the margins of market imperatives and is far less dogmatic and more creative and individualistic than that which has traditionally been done. The translations are done for free by aficionados and then posted on the Internet.

Kelley et al. USA. DVD. Dune (1984) David Lynch. DVD. USA. Baby Cart in the Land of Demons (1983) Misumi Kenji. Minako (2007): “Multidimensional Translation: A Game Plan for Audiovisual Translation in the Age of GILT“. USA. Puentes 6: 27-43. www. Life is Beautiful (1997) Roberto Benigni. Romero. USA. Ivarsson. Village Roadshow Productions.pdf Neves. Simrisham: TransEdit HB. Japan. Thelma & Louise (1991) Ridley Scott. DVD. Suevia Films. DVD. USA. DVD. Metro Goldwyn Mayer. DVD. Time Warner Entertainment. Proceeding of the Marie Curie Euroconferences MuTra ‘Challenges of Multidimensional Translation’ – Saarbrücken 2-6 May 2005. Princess Mononoke (1997) Hayao Miyazaki. Metro Goldwyn Mayer. DVD.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jorge Díaz Cintas Ferrer Simó. Ally McBeal (1997-2002) David E. Momentum Pictures. Audiovisual films and programs cited A Touch of Spice (2003) Tassos Boulmetis. The Simpsons (1989—) Matt Groening et al. USA. Jan and Carroll. The Journal of Specialised Translation 3: 64-74. Proceedings of the Marie Curie Euroconferences MuTra ‘Challenges of Multidimensional Translation’ . DVD. Kayahara. Matthew (2005): “The Digital Revolution: DVD Technology and the Possibilities for Audiovisual Translation Studies”. Henrik (2007): “Multidimensional Translation: Semantics turned Semiotics“. USA. Warner Bros. Artsmagic. London: Roehampton http://rrp. Spain. Gottlieb. PhD Thesis. USA. Lady Snowblood. María R. Crouching Tiger. Japan. Stargate (1994) Roland Emmerich. Hidden Dragon (2000) Ang Lee. Night of the Living Dead (1968) George A. Italy. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown / Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios (1988) Pedro Almodóvar. DVD. (2005): “Fansubs y scanlations: la influencia del aficionado en los criterios profesionales”. DVD. Friends (1994-2004) David Crane and Marta Kauffman. Shrek (2001) Andrew Adamson & Vicky Jenson. Greece. Artsmagic.roehampton. 32 . DreamWorks Pictures. Sex and the City (1998—) Darren Star et al.Saarbrücken 2-6 May 2005. Mary (1998): Subtitling. DVD. USA. DVD. DVD. Taiwan. Columbia Tristar. Love Song of Vengeance (1974) Fujita Toshiya. Twentieth Century Fox. Josélia (2005): Subtitling fort he Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing. Annie Hall (1977) Woody Allen. DVD. O’Hagan. USA. Twentieth Century Fox. Touchstone. Japan. Manga Films. Metro Goldwyn Mayer.

e. very few titles (e. Mass-media products as well as acts of communication with more limited audiences are being translated in unprecedented numbers. Without denying the importance of the spoken or written word. Although much has been written on translation in recent decades. our aim is to promote a wider. basically. localize computer software. conceptual tools are provided for dealing systematically with any type of translation encountered today. what we translate – whether we work as literary translators. All I wish to accomplish is to contribute to a wider © Copyright 2005-2007 by MuTra 33 . words. but also nonverbal types of communication. 1 Translation: more than just words Reflecting the ever-increasing communicational output – from cellphone text messages to live multi-media presentations – is the growing need for translation. for instance). yielding a total of 30 types of translation.g. perception and impact of screen translation Ideals and realities in translation Translation types compared Conclusion: the human factor in translation References Abstract This paper seeks to expand the notion of translation in order to accommodate not only polysemiotic text types. interpret at conferences.g. represent challenges to the translator not known before the invention of sound film back in 1927. let alone nonverbal translation as such. New media require new methods of translation. ’multidimensional’ understanding of translation. in particular. But still. it is not my intention to diminish the importance of the spoken or written word. a main distinction is found between inspirational translation (e. but also the types of communication not involving language in a traditional sense. However. or subtitle films for DVD – is. Gambier and Gottlieb (eds) 2001) have been concerned with nonverbal factors in (verbal) translation. and recent decades have also witnessed a growing scholarly interest in the field of translation.EU-High-Level Scientific Conference Series MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb (Copenhagen) Multidimensional Translation: Semantics turned Semiotics Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Translation: more than just words Textures of translation Taxonomies of translation: Semiotics as perceived Semiotic composition. and audiovisual media.) 1997. Poyatos (ed. film and TV. A primary aim of this paper is to expand the notion of translation in order to accommodate not only the nonverbal channels present in much modern communication. by establishing a semiotically-based taxonomy of translation. In addition to the strictly semiotic distinctions between various types of translation. neither in original texts nor in translations. As a means to that end.g. audio description) and conventionalized translation (subtitling and dubbing.

thus accommodating phenomena as music and graphics. Traditional translation studies have almost exclusively dealt with texts that are seen as ‘verbal only’. having studied the workings of dubbing. Even the translational product is a complex notion. and the effect of non-verbal factors on the verbal rephrasing of polysemiotic texts – of which films and TV productions are among the most well-researched. oral discourse to be interpreted Although such texts communicate through one semiotic channel only. Heidrun Geryzmisch-Arbogast’s and Minako O’Hagan 2007 34 . aptly puts it. “no text can be made entirely of verbal signs because such signs always need some sort of physical support. Below we shall have a close look at those parameters that constitute texts (in a wide sense of that word) as well as those that shape the profile of finished translations. hear them. of the translational product. also Jorge Diaz Cintas’. so that the various features of (interlingual) translation so often discussed in Translation Studies will stand out more clearly against a background of translation in its totality. via the text itself to the receivers of the translated version of it. they are not abstract verbalizations of a message just waiting for someone to read them. yet not the only types deserving scholarly attention. The process of translation involves a chain of disparate and consecutive entities. 2. make sense – any channel of expression in any act of communication carries meaning. defined by Frederic Chaume as “a semiotic construct comprising several signifying codes that operate simultaneously in the production of meaning.e. other factors than verbal semantics form part of translational products. The most prominent polysemiotic text type is the audiovisual text.” (Chaume 2004:16). Naturally. As Patrick Zabalbeascoa. As a means to that end. 2 Textures of translation Any kind of translation is a multi-faceted entity. and thus deserve the label ‘monosemiotic’. and even the word ’translation’ covers at least two dimensions: (1) time. As a simultaneously presented synthesis of signs constituting either a mono. ranging from the conceiver(s) of the original text. Of special interest here is the semiotic composition of source vs. Even in the case of ’words-only’ – i. monosemiotic – texts. In a Translation Studies context. including the semantics and temporal progression of the translational process and (2) space. including the semiotics and texture. whether written – e.or polysemiotic text.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb understanding – through a multidimensional approach1 – of the field of translation. literary or technical texts – or spoken. or composition. For this reason.g. and taking as our point of departure the complex (polysemiotic) textual nature of film and television. the translated text encompasses much more than the rephrasing of original verbal utterances. target texts.e. or translate them. this ‘physical support’ gains semantic momentum in genuinely polysemiotic texts. as well as sign language (for the deaf) and messages in Braille (for the blind).” (Zabalbeascoa 1997:338). the two latter categories representing strictly conventionalized communication may very well be considered along with verbal-only (monosemiotic) and 1 cf. this paper intends to provide conceptual tools for dealing systematically with any type of translation encountered in today’s media landscape by establishing a semiotically based taxonomy of translation. by definition. even exclusively non-verbal communication deserves the label ‘text’. i.1 Translation in the web of semiotics: Distinctions and definitions As semiotics implies semantics – signs.

relatively simple algorithms exist that would transform messages in Braille or in one of the world’s many sign languages into a vocal language – either written or spoken. degrees of freedom for the translating agent. (b) introduce nonverbal elements. say. the original entity. 35 .” The colossal range of translational phenomena encompassed by this multidimensional definition2 may be categorized according to the following four parameters: I) II) semiotic identity or non-identity between source and target texts. the term ‘intrasemiotic translation’ is used here as an umbrella term for Jakobson’s ‘interlingual’ and ‘intralingual’ types of translation. namely: “any process. This implies that. possible changes in semiotic composition of the translation which may be (a) isosemiotic (using the same channel(s) of expression as the source text). the one or more channels of communication used in the translated text differ(s) from the channel(s) used in the original text. Whereas ‘intersemiotic translation’ is a notion directly borrowed from Roman Jakobson (1959). As opposed to what is true of music and graphics. cf. text and translation As not all languages are verbal. in which a combination of sensory signs carrying communicative intention is replaced by another combination reflecting. distinguishing inspirational from conventionalized types of translation. In other words.” (Gottlieb 2003b:167). and presence or absence of verbal material in source and/or target texts. Based on this communicative definition of ‘text’. the intersemiotic process of translating from the tactile to the visual mode (or vice versa. or (d) remain non-verbal III) IV) Before discussing the vast array of translational types. (c) introduce verbal elements. when a text in Braille is translated into a ‘the same’ text using alphanumeric characters – is certainly simpler and more rule-governed than the process of translating a printed text from one verbal language into another. distinguishing intrasemiotic types of translation from inter semiotic types.g.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb multi-channel (polysemiotic) texts. or product hereof. In intrasemiotic translation. Mathias Wagner 2007) – e. 2. the source and target text are semiotically non-equivalent. commentating a baseball match for radio listeners. as opposed to. in reverse. or (d) hyposemiotic (using fewer channels than the original text). an all-encompassing definition of ‘language’ may read as follows: “animate communicative system working through the combination of sensory signs. also Heidrun Geryzmisch-Arbogast 2007. Ib) 2 For a definition of multidimensional translation cf. or inspired by. As a case in point. Both.1. Intrasemiotic translation In intersemiotic translation. (b) diasemiotic (using different channels). however.1 Defining the notions of language. (c) supersemiotic (using more channels). an equally broad definition of ‘translation’ may be ventured. the four central juxtapositions listed above will have to be defined: I) Ia) Intersemiotic vs. creating a distinction between translations that (a) remain verbal. ‘text’ may be defined as “any combination of sensory signs carrying communicative intention”. remain conventionalized. a case of semiotic equivalence. the sign systems used in source and target text are identical.

i. and criteria for evaluation are easily established – although not always totally agreed upon. Isosemiotic translation encompasses both monosemiotic text types (oral discourse being interpreted for foreign-language speakers) and polysemiotic texts (the most conspicuous example being dubbing. while subtitling exemplifies diasemiotic translation of a polysemiotic text (with letters representing speech sounds)3.e. i. . communicating through exactly the same semiotic channels as the original. as well as TV shows captioned for the deaf fall into this category as well. to be exact – of one text triggers the production of another based on the first one. the term hyposemiotic translation implies that the semiotic ‘bandwidth’ of the translation is narrower than that of the original. When considering the translated production. diasemiotic. from speech to writing or vice versa). The resulting text – no matter its semiotic composition – will relate to the original in a way II) IIa) IIb) IIc) IId) III) IIIa) IIId) 3 cf. audio-described stage plays for the blind. is not only intralingual (and thus. we see this when. written translation). Representing anything from strict conversion algorithms (as when translating between writing and Braille) to methods more resting on norms and conventions (as when dictionaries and other works of reference are used as tools in interlingual. sometimes termed ‘translation proper’. Lastly. while intralingual covers the following subcategories: . Inspirational translation Conventionalized translation – with both intrasemiotic and intersemiotic types represented – uses some degree of formulaic conversion of the source text en route to the target text. by definition. Conventionalized vs. for instance. Inspirational translation covers situations where the existence – and reception. In supersemiotic translation. the translated texts displays more semiotic channels than the original – as when a novel is semiotically unfolded into a film. in which the original semiotic composition is maintained in translation). this embraces all sorts of printed translations – from translated novels to localized software manuals reusing the original illustrations while adapting the verbal text to foreign-language markets. Naturally. but also isosemiotic. Diasemiotic translation is characterized by its use of different channels.diamesic translation (implying a change in language mode. A monosemiotic example of diasemiotic translation is written music (with notes representing musical sounds). a mime artist performs a dramatical piece originally including spoken lines. when we focus on translation reception.diachronic translation (between different historical stages of the same language) .e.dialectal translation (between different geographical. intrasemiotic). social or generational variants of the same language). supersemiotic and hyposemiotic translation The prototypical translation. However. also Jan Kunold forthcoming 36 .MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb • • interlingual refers to translation between two languages. conventionalized translation stays transparent by establishing a direct link between source and target texts. while the number of channels (one or more) is the same as in the original text.transliteration (which involves a change in alphabet). Isosemiotic vs. .

MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb which is more free and less predictable than what is found in conventionalized translation. Translations that introduce nonverbal elements include genres as disparate as to poetry turned into songs and non-smoking pictograms in bars and restaurants. something which – to a certain extent – is possible with conventionalized translation. translations that remain nonverbal include both linguistic entities (such interpreting between two sign languages) and non-linguistic ones. which on their own terms may not be cognitively fully comprehensible to the audience. 3) translation crossovers (audiobooks on CD. a taxonomy can now be established with the purpose of accommodating all existing and potential types of translation – categorized according to their semiotic qualities. nonverbal translation Translations that retain their verbal channel include all intralingual and all interlingual translations. Finally. due to either (a) sensory or (b) linguistic impairment are expected not to be able to decode the original. as when a signer is interpreted into vocal language. Here we talk about nonverbal translation. when a PowerPoint presentation shows numerical relations turned into graphics). as audiences have simultaneous access to. thus boosting the impact of the original figures. Here we deal with verbal translation. The terms ‘conventionalized’ and ‘inspirational’ have been employed partly in order to pinpoint the difference between the two conceptual counterparts. Following from this is the inability to reconstruct the original from the translated version. signed news on television resemble – monosemiotic as this genre is – radio news for hearing audiences.g. These are all examples of deverbalizing translation.g. for instance when DVD audiences lack the command of the foreign language heard on screen and select a domestic-language soundtrack. Based on the broad definition of ‘text’ provided above. IVb) IVc) IIId) 2. encompasses four kinds of cognitive decoding activity: 1) translations acting as text substitutes for an audience who. and in doing so. the resulting viewing experience emulates that of watching a domestic production. In a French-speaking context. for instance) that are enjoyed by ‘impaired’ and ‘non-impaired’ audiences alike. In the former case. the original text. the taxonomy categorizes the various types of translation from the end user’s perspective. and understand. partly to make room for a wider interpretation of the notion of translation than what is seen whenever ‘real translation’ and adaptation are juxtaposed. e. 2) translations as text enhancers (e.2 Translation in a nutshell: Establishing a general taxonomy Following the four main distinctions (listed as points I-IV above). IV) IVa) Verbal vs. the term ‘tradaptation’ has been suggested as a lexical bridge across the gap between translation and adaptation (Gambier 2004:179-180). Some translations introduce verbal elements. the drawing of a sculpture. 4) translations that are cognitively supplementary. This phenomenon is mainly found in the audiovisual 37 . or a text in Morse code is decrypted These types are all examples of verbalizing translation. and finally. ranging from an American remake of a Japanese movie to the ’Maltese’ transliteration of Arabic words into Latin lettering. In the latter case.

for example. leaving subtitlers with the degrees of freedom enjoyed by translators producing substitutional translations. one random example is given for each translation type (i. In this mode of reception. or may seem more important to the reader. or may have attracted more scholarly attention. widespread in ‘hardcore’ subtitling countries. each cell). etc. For this reason. when optional subtitles find their way from DVD to digital TV. this game of ‘spot-the-error’ has long become a national pastime in Scandinavia. and (II) using the original dialogue to evaluate. all texts – have an audience in mind – be that well-defined or of a more general nature. and the examples will be explained. readers will share my point of view and readily join me in this exploration of the realm of translation. and while sometimes that example is one out of a limited number of types or genres in that particular cell. each type represented in the taxonomy will be discussed. 3. I have tried to represent types from all thirty cells in a balanced way. the publisher/broadcaster. the viewer processes dialog and subtitles as ‘diamesic twins’.). Still. not audience perception. are designed for visually impaired audiences. the typological classification presented in tables 1 and 2 is based on audience perception. Hopefully. other cells may represent more types. i. mode 3 is a ‘free’ and unintended spin off from mode 1a. reception mode 4 will fade out. Usually. In the section following the tables. Whereas reception modes 1 and 2 are intended by the translational agents (the translator.e. 3 Taxonomies of translation: Semiotics as perceived In the two tables below.e. All translations – and. 38 . while oscillating between (I) using subtitles as an aid to understand the original dialog. audiobooks. As far as mode 4 is concerned. only one example from each cell will be discussed. indeed. It is my hope that with the aim and scope of the present paper. since – judged from a semiotic point of view – all translational categories are equally interesting. how each type of translation is cognitively processed by the intended audience. the subtitles. the result being that in working from English.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb media. not for drivers. and criticize.1 The translational range explained through examples In the following sections. as multilingual audiences read subtitles while listening to the original dialog. the numbers are referring to the numbers used in the tables 1 and 2. each of the 30 sub-categories (cells) of the taxonomy will be treated successively. This means that types belonging to category (1) above would be categorized differently if the point of departure was text composition. subtitlers – in constant fear of being accused of not giving the ‘precise’ translation of what is said – sometimes prefer unnatural-sounding constructions (Gottlieb 2001:216).

Play turned mime Inspirational translation Nonverbal Deverbalizing Conventionalized translation Deverbalizing Verbalizing Verbalizing Nonverbal [0. Dubbed film Intralingual 27. Music based on sculpture 2. Audiobook on CD 29. Not possible: contradiction in terms] 7.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb INTERSEMIOTIC TYPES TARGET TEXT SEMIOTICS Isosemiotic (same channels as original) Diasemiotic (different channels) Supersemiotic (more channels) Hyposemiotic (fewer channels) 1. 2: Intrasemiotic Types 39 . 22. Isosemiotic (same channels New musical Remake of as original) arrangement foreign film of standard tune Diasemiotic (different channels) Supersemiotic (more channels) 21. Charts mediated to the blind 14. Ball game on radio 8. 20. Subtitled familiarlanguage film 26. Morse code decryption 17. Statistical pie charts 12. Acted stage directions 15. 1: Intersemiotic Types: Total Taxonomy of Translation as perceived by the intended target text INTRASEMIOTIC TYPES TARGET TEXT SEMIOTICS Inspirational translation Nonverbal Interlingual Intralingual Conventionalized translation Nonverbal Interlingual 23. Contemporary Sign adaptation of interpreting ’classic’ film 24. Pictograms 16. Sketch of bee dance 4. Transliteration 19. Manual in Braille Tab. Screen adaptation of novel 6. Subtitling for the deaf Hyposemiotic (fewer channels) Tab. Interpreted sign language user 18. Live radio interpreting 28. Written music 11. Audio description on DVD 10. Captioned commercials for hearing audiences 30. Animation film based on music 3. Ball game on TV 9. Subtitled ‘exotic’ film [None known to the author] 25. Poem into painting 5. Notation of ballet 13.

Stravinsky and others while at the same time reflecting the musical score in moving images.e. Verbal → not (only) verbal text 4. a radio-transmitted baseball match. in which the semantic texture is becoming more complex in translation.g. for instance. An example of the complexities of polysemiotic translation. but fills in background information etc. Hence. Operating with very large degrees of freedom. Inspirational types Non-verbal → non-verbal text 1. for instance – of the original phenomenon. the drawing is two-dimensional and mute. this row of potential cells remains void. while the visual action on the field is substituted by verbal narration. In this way. for instance. A striking example of this type. 8. in which the natural sound effects are kept in the background. vocal language is lost. and movements matter more than when they are counterbalanced by words.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb 3. One of the only non-interlingual examples often discussed in translation studies belongs to this category: screen adaptation – in which a monosemiotic work (typically. Tchaikovsky. Non-verbal → verbal text 7.1. Representing the same ballgame on TV. TV viewers get ‘more’ information than do the spectators at the stadium. any intersemiotic translation would have to use a different set of communicative channels. presented (optionally) as an integral part of the film soundtrack. 2. A case of the opposite movement. is found when. a play is turned into mime. When. from a sculptural expression to a musical one. Here. audio description on DVD translates two channels – non-verbal image (pictorial content) and verbal image (existing captions and displays) – into one: a verbal depiction. In this ‘concise’ category of translation. that of semiotic simplification. This first type of translation operates (by inspiration) between two different. a novel) is semiotically ‘unzipped’ and thus recreates the underlying (poly)semiotic structure of the dramatic work. fewer channels must carry the semantic load formerly shared by more channels. in order to avoid producing intersemiotically redundant messages) supplements what the viewer already sees on the TV screen. a person draws a sketch of the way bees communicate. which presents the musical works of Bach.1 Intersemiotic translation By definition. however. but still a fair representation – in a dictionary. The reason for placing what might be seen as an 40 . monosemiotic types of expression (= texts). is the animated Disney cartoon Fantasia from 1940. Verbalized texts in this category include phenomena that are relayed on to an audience bereft of the ability to comprehend the original text. replacing a poem by an illustration of it still produces a text of similar semiotic complexity as that of the original. 5. apart from the missing ambience of the stadium. 9. in which “a verbal text describes a work of visual art” (Eco 2004: 110). whether original or dubbed Audio description is thus a modern-day version of the classic tradition of ekphrasis. 3. the verbal layer added by the commentator (who does not have to explain the action as such. e. would be a different type of translation. i. While the original ‘text’ is spatial and includes sound signals. 6.

15. there is some leeway of interpretation – not only going from written to performed music. Yvonne Griesel forthcoming). with the unique feature that a 1:1 relationship is found between original and translation. thus replacing a polysemiotic original by a monosemiotic translation. Interestingly. Benecke 2004. in which complex three-dimensional movements in real time are represented on paper. certain illustrations in manuals and textbooks would have to be left out or explained in Braille along with the verbal elements of the original book.) Conventionalized types Non-verbal → non-verbal text 10. (cf. Dealing with numbers. we are here talking about translations that operate through fewer semiotic channels than those present in the original – a case in point being ballet notation. road signs and other non-verbal logos are examples of conventionalized translation of verbal entities. Jan Kunold forthcoming) 11. replaces printed letters by a fixed combination of raised dots. Verbal → not (only) verbal text 13. Thus. the fact remains that the entire film is now communicated through two channels only: the verbal oral and the nonverbal oral channels. 12. Non-verbal → verbal text 16. is a perfect example of diasemiotic translation. yet it only caters for alphanumeric text elements. is found in written music. the AngloAmerican tradition is heavily verbal. literally speaking. 14. an internationally successful tactile writing system for the Blind. but also when trying to translate live music to paper (cf. which although part of the alphanumerical reality of written communication can hardly be termed verbal. Translating stage directions into theatrical performance is a classic example of supersemiotic translation. As opposed to the previous two categories. The verbal visual and non-verbal visual channels remain inaccessible to blind audiences. As with other types of conventionalized translation. Thus it represents extremely conventionalized translational procedures. Pictograms. The encryption and decryption of Morse code. meaning that translating the same message back and forth will not in any way 41 . As regards traffic signs. for instance. illustrating numerical relations by means of bar or pie charts while keeping the actual figures as part of the graphic whole is an example of this additive category of translation. A classical example.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb additive type of translation in the ‘reductive’ category is that although some of the visual information of a film is represented through audio description. Instead of merely switching between channels of representation – as in the previous example – we are here concerned with adding new semiotic layers to the original text. Braille. in which each note in a sequence denotes pitch as well as duration. in which what is exclusively verbal is ‘branched out’ into spoken lines plus body language and movements on stage (cf. who are the very raison d’être of this type of translation. with utterances like ‘Reduce speed now’ commonly seen on roads. certain speech communities use these nonverbal messages a lot less than others.

a jazz standard. an intralingual example of inspirational translation would be the adaptation. partly for logical reasons. Here. will experience two semiotic layers in the message addressed to them: the almost entirely incomprehensible (soundless) sign language and the spoken language – their own vernacular. the empty cells do not represent a clear cut case of contradictio in adiectio.2 Intrasemiotic translation Inspirational types Here we are dealing with what may be termed “reformulation of a given expression within the same semiotic system” (Eco 2004: 131). As is obvious from Tab. With the exception of Shakespearean screen adaptations. e. but lacks the skills for encryption of the sign language code.. this is done through a bilingual sign interpreter – strictly within the confines of the semiotic system ‘signing’. 20. certain semiotic channels may yield little or no information. 3. However.g. the information from two semiotic channels is condensed into one: oral communication. Instead of merely translating the verbal elements (as in dubbing and subtitling. 42 .MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb alter the content. into the target culture. is a re-interpretation in the form of a new musical arrangement of an existing work. it is indeed a translation. hearing persons who do not understand sign language and for whom a sign language user is interpreted into a vocal language. When perceived by ‘wrong’ target-language audiences. setting and all. a remake transplants the entire film. the target user possesses the sensory capabilities for comprehension. When communicating the content of such charts to blind audiences. American Sign Language (ASL) users are interpreted for Deaf audiences in Britain using British Sign Language (BSL). 2. Conventionalized types Non-verbal → non-verbal text 22. A typical example from this category.1. would be the graphics (pie charts including numbers) of category 11. 18. Remaining within the realm of film. in this taxonomy categorized as ‘non-verbal’. another phenomenon attracting a lot of public attention is remakes of films. So although this is a case of ‘more channels’ perceived by the user – providing that he or she is not blind or visually impaired – the original text (signing) remains nearly void of information. see below). As a case in point. Morse code could be said to be the extreme exponent of conventionalized translation. where translation takes place between nonverbal entities. 17. In the interlingual sub-category. or remake. as no examples are expected to exist. a ‘conventionalized’ parallel to category number 9. of a domestic film classic. The result is a different textual expression within the semiotic confines of performed music. 21. A well-known exponent of the first sub-category. 19. hence the label ‘none known to the author’. The resulting film may appear to be an original work. such new versions of old films would either alter outdated elements of the script. with no ‘artistic license’ granted to the translator. or come with an entirely new dialog list. but as it is based on an existing storyline etc. When. many potential cells stay void. for instance.

fit into this category. 25. In traditional terms. the discussion in section 2. as for instance new 43 . Apart from printed translations.. Not only monosemiotic entities – e. for example. as what is verbal in the source text remains verbal. The visual impact of subtitles is illustrated by the fact that interlingual subtitles are now the dominant written genre in Denmark. if this is in English. conventionalized and isosemiotic translation is translation. However. or through other monosemiotic media. of course. with the average person spending more than 37 minutes daily reading subtitles at home while watching television. In this taxonomy. subtitles are no longer dialogue substitutes. videos or films on DVD. also several types of interpreting. of course. although the semiotic balance is undeniably shifted from predominantly aural to predominantly visual text reception. must be refuted as well. as well as dubbing.g. this movement from spoken lines to written text is considered intralingual. someone addressing his countrymen in L1 is interpreted on radio. the polyglot viewer embraces more semiotic channels than those found in the original version – a phenomenon never found within strictly substitutional translation. Thus. Intralingual translation: L1 text → new L1 text 27. the transliteration of a printed text from Latin into Cyrillic writing. but become supplementary in the reception of foreignlanguage productions (cf. 24. The reverse situation – where the final recipients have fewer semiotic layers available to them than the original audience had – is found when. we will find ourselves in the next category. To most non-experts and a few traditional translatologists.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb Interlingual translation: L1 text → L2 text 23. while the transfer from language 1 to language 2 – whenever foreign-language productions are subtitled – is what places ‘normal’ subtitling firmly in the interlingual column here. Whenever – as is now the case in several parts of the world – major segments of targetlanguage viewers understand the source language (as outlined just above). such as dubbing. this cell in the matrix of translation is packed with various translational sub-types and genres – and (over)represented in innumerable works on translation. With time. subtitling – although diasemiotic – is still considered intrasemiotic. or from Kanji to Hiragana – are found in this category. What is common to all these sub-types of translation is that they retain the semiotic composition of the original while recreating the semantic content in another (verbal) language. It could be argued.2). interlingual. Another argument in favor of considering subtitling intersemiotic. Also linguistic conversions that form part of polysemiotic texts are placed here. into L2. but also substantial semantic and stylistic elements in the original dialogue – especially. that as part of the diamesic shift (from speech to writing) subtitling would qualify as intersemiotic. to be fair. This doubling of verbal channels is also found when a DVD is played with both subtitles and soundtrack in the target language. out of the thirty types offered in this taxonomy. And. and depending on national educational systems etc. only this category qualifies as translation. In that situation. namely that of pointing to the written subtitles as a semiotically foreign element in the translated film. (Gottlieb 2003a). ranging from short in-house manuals for technical translators to verbose academic treatises on literary translation. 26. the communicative power of the written subtitles may decrease as audiences pick up not only intonational cues. The reason for that is that as (original-language) film and television make use of written signs – in the form of captions and displays – the semiotic composition as such is not changed through subtitling.

It is a well-known fact in advertising that redundancy enhances the effect of a (commercial) message. a Russian video version of an American movie may be referred to three different translational categories. Aimed at visually impaired or dyslexic audiences. anything from drop-down menus to videoclips (cf. What we talk about here could be termed ‘diamesic redundancy’. for instance. 3. 44 . cf. localized web pages often ‘forget’ to translate certain textual elements. dialog and sound effects). doing household chores. and thus – in semiotic terms – merged with the caption layer of the original. captions. In the field of computer games. since they are encoded in an alphabet unknown to the common viewer – a case of transliteration. any categorization of such entities will have to consider the ‘odd’ parts of the text. Similarly. An ‘opposite’ example is the production of audiobooks. Seen in isolation. which is a case of diasemiotic translation. even ‘untranslatable’ names will have to be read aloud. (For a discussion of subtitling for the deaf. 29. The simplest example of this diasemiotic category of translation is transcription – which is a major element of intralingual subtitling. etc. The same diamesic duplication is found when hearing audiences are watching domestic-language TV programs with subtitles intended for non-hearing viewers. Whereas the original production spans four semiotic channels (images. Mathias Wagner 2007). cf. but always presented in synch with the oral slogan. the (few) instances where sound effects are rendered in the subtitles – as for instance “Doorbell rings” or “Waves washing ashore” – would qualify for membership of category 18: hyposemiotic verbalization. Sandrini forthcoming). one may come across a game in which captions are translated while dialog is not (cf.2 On absolute categorizations and relative realities Having now established a supposedly total taxonomy of translation. for instance. I must hasten to state that with semiotically complex entities such as various online texts and other electronic media products. whenever Deaf communities watch domestic productions with optional (teletext or DVD) subtitles. 30. Not only will such written signs be read aloud by the narrator. as a spoken message is supplemented by the same message in writing – sometimes expressed more concisely. what they perceive is a text which includes a smaller number of semiotic channels than the original. With the shift of medium – from paper to tape or CD – comes the perceptual shift from reading to listening. An interesting case in point is found whenever Western films (with captions and displays in Latin letters) are voiced-over – an isosemiotic translation procedure – into languages using Cyrillic script.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb dubbing tracks for classic movies – something that is often seen with animated films dating back fifty years or more. such intralingual book translations also satisfy a demand among normal readers for literature which is accessible while driving a car. or – more accurately phrased – as several text types are semiotic composites or mosaics. Different foci may lead to different categorizations. This means that different elements of. also Neves 2005). Some audiovisual products may also be categorized differently according to which elements you are considering. a logical result of the intricate relations between the original polysemiotic mosaic and its translation. O’Hagan 2007). in which no translational act or artifact should be deprived of categorization (an exception being the transfer of the visual to the haptic mode. categorization is not always a matter of course. On the other hand. information communicated by the two acoustic semiotic channels is represented by writing. see Kurz and Mikulasek 2004. 28.

Accordingly. . a semiotic comparison of these five types of screen translation will be made. . screen translation does not encompass translations of . in this case Danish.).*teletext pages on TV screens. starting with an ‘objective’ juxtaposition of the impact on the target audience of each type. As this term. However. . respectively). The label ‘transient’ is included in order to keep the focus on the classical notion of ‘moving pictures’. perception and impact of screen translation In the following sections of this paper.As is seen. I will need to define screen translation as “the translation of transient polysemiotic texts presented onscreen to mass audiences”.films displayed on ‘silver screens’ in cinema theaters. static images with captions presented on screens would qualify as well. so ‘screen translation’ will do. As is often the case. . Admittedly.*written texts on computer screens (web pages. . email messages. 3: Voicedover version 1 4 3 2 Deaf and AudioHoH described version version 1 2 –––– –––– –––– –––– 2 1 1 4 3 2 1 2 4 3 1 4 3 2 Impact ranking of semiotic channels in screen translation 45 . we will focus on screen translation while maintaining a primarily semiotic approach. the definition suggested above implies that screen translation is not necessarily interlingual – with dubbing. subtitling and voice-over as three dominant types.broadcast televised material on TV screens. . Catering for special audiences. Original Subtitled Dubbed production version version (TV/DVD) Image Writing Sound effects Speech Tab.*plays and operas performed on stage (surtitled productions).non-broadcast televised (DVD) material on TV or computer screens. slightly imperfect as it is – especially in an exploratory context as this – may imply any kind of translation on any kind of screen. subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing and audio description (intralingual and audiovisual material on computer screens. also qualify as screen translation. Without that definitorial limitation. the notion screen translation includes translations of . Compared with earlier notions of screen translation.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb 4 Semiotic composition. In the following. the best term may be found in another language. neither is the competing term ‘audiovisual translation’. introducing the Danism ‘billedmedieoversættelse’ (literally: picture media translation) in English is not exactly practical. the term ‘screen translation’ is not entirely selfexplanatory. etc.

4 partly on my personal experience as a subtitler. Writing. one that is found toward the center of the field in which genres like sitcoms (some of which can be ‘enjoyed’ without watching the action). Sound effects. while intralingual subtitling and audio description – as they are perceived by their core audiences – represent total shifts in the semiotic balance of the original production. including both composition (in space) and montage/editing (in time). how subtitles (for hearing audiences) distract attention from the image. Gottlieb 1997). but excluding inaudible background dialogue The ranking is based on an average filmic production. the figures in Tab. I have based the figures in Tab. It should come as no surprise that while the two modes of revoicing – dubbing and voiceover – display the same semiotic ranking as that of the original. partly on theoretical studies by myself and others (cf. ‘normal’ subtitling skews the semiotic ‘division of labor’ in the viewer. Lacking available empirical studies on audience perception of various translation methods. including ‘meaningful’ lyrics. including on-location sounds and music as well as music and effects added in post-production. I suggest a closer look at the cognitive semiotic changes implied by the intrinsic qualities of the five translational types: How much of the semantic load communicated to the audience is carried by each semiotic channel? Or.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb Tab. 4 are rough estimates that illustrate. 3 – shows the colossal difference in attention shares (and impact) between the various semiotic channels. toptitles and subtitles). The fact that neither sound effects nor speech are listed as having any Original Dubbed production version (TV/DVD) Image Writing Sound effects Speech Tab. Speech. let alone systematic comparisons of semantic content related to semiotic structure. and that of all semiotic channels. sound effects constitute the most ‘constant’ communicative factor. including displays (as ‘seen’ by the camera) and captions (including credits. In the following table. 4: Voicedover version 55% 0% 18% 27% Subtitled version 40% 32% 18% 10% Deaf and HoH version 65% 35% –––– –––– Audiodescribed version –––– –––– 35% 65% 55% 2% 18% 25% 55% 1% 18% 26% Relative impact of semiotic channels in screen translation4 4 Figures based on personal experience Gottlieb (1997) 46 . phrased in more market-oriented terms: What are the shares of attention for each channel? This table – an attempt to quantify the rankings listed in Tab. As will be obvious from the above remarks. a) b) c) d) Image. 3 gives a fairly uncontroversial ranking of the four basic semiotic channels used in filmic media. very ‘pictoresque’ films and transmissions from concerts place themselves in more marginal positions. among other things.

say. 5. 5 cf. 5. what counts is that established notions be challenged.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb communicative value in the Deaf and HoH column of course only applies for the primary target group for intralingual subtitling: the Deaf community. translation in general and screen translation in particular.1 How strategic are translators? Among the many notions that go almost uncontested. 2002 and the extensive bibliography in Gottlieb 2002b). Although making the exact research design is not going to be simple. but little is yet known (cf. respectively. I do not mind assuming the role of devil’s advocate here. This concept – which most translation scholars. Although several of the notions to be discussed do make sense in many contexts. 5 Ideals and realities in translation Although many aspects of translation have been thoroughly investigated in recent years. Likewise. 5: Debatable Notionas – Translation in general 5. we often lack empirical evidence or rely on uncorroborated assumptions in the field of translation studies – as I admittedly did in the previous section. to be discussed in the following paragraphs: Notions 1) Translation strategies (as instrumental in translational work) 2) Acceptability (as a guiding principle) in translation 3) Original version Counter-arguments a) Translators often don’t make conscious choices b) Translators often see only one solution ‘Acceptable’ semantic or semiotic changes may betray the text a) Basic version serves as template only b) Basic version is a translation itself c) Several languages coexist in basic version Tab. who may not be the sole audience segment benefiting from that mode of translation. As an example Heidrun Geryzmisch-Arbogast/Klaus Mudersbach 1998 47 .1.1 Debatable common notions on translation Among the many claims. the shares for audio description apply for truly blind people. find very useful – is sometimes seen as the guiding principle behind all translational activity: “Each part or aspect of a translation can be perceived as the outcome of a process of choosing among various possible solutions in the light of all the operative factors of the moment” (Zabalbeascoa 1997:337). is the entity translation strategies. credos and concepts that are commonly accepted in contemporary translation studies circles are the three notions listed in Tab. Koolstra et al. dubbing and subtitling. including myself. This is also implied in much theoretical work5. empirical studies of audience processing of semantic information in various semiotic channels are much needed A lot has been said concerning the relative qualities of. A few of these assumptions will be dealt with in the following two sections addressing.

That would grant full artistic license to the translator/author of the new text. Top-notch translators may. and even the term ‘original’ is almost universal. as does every fluent bilingual person” (Eco 2004:182. I’d like to think. Thus. but this is not their typical modus operandi: “Translators simply behave like polyglots.1. is the genre most often mentioned in connection with the acceptability principle – is translated.1. the concept of an original soundtrack is fundamental. without postulating that this is a bona fide translation (as the audience would understand it) of the original text.1 above. narrow or naive for a specific translation.2 How acceptable is ‘acceptability’? When the classical ideal of equivalence came under fire in the 1970s and later. the target audience have reason to expect that what they are getting is a truthful representation of the original work. Toute l’émotion de la V. list several solutions to a translational problem. by Gideon Toury (1995).1. They follow their instinct. the 48 . translators are happy to be able to just hit on one solution to the problem at hand. Although the pragmatic attitude expressed by the proponents of acceptability was refreshing. we are once more confronted with a gap between theoreticians and practitioners: Very few literary or film translators take such liberties in their translations as those that would be possible within the paradigm of ‘acceptability’. when the target audience in most speech communities buy foreign-language books or films. gifted and imaginative translators are able to live up to such expectations.O. the manipulations of the source text encouraged in the process may lead to major distortions of the original content and form. strangely enough. because in some way they already know that in the target language a given thing is expressed so and so. only very conscientious. In subtitling. are a token of peace.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb However. emphasis added).3 What constitutes an original text? “Subtitles. Vermeer and others (nicely summarized in Vermeer 2000). and played well together with the multi-purpose potential of the Skopos theory launched by Hans J. film subtitling or conference interpreting. One of the most acknowledged suggestions for a guiding principle in a ‘post-equivalence’ world turned out to be the notion of ‘acceptability’. As with the notion of ‘translation strategies’. rather than normal practice. if asked to do so. rather than armchair strategists calmly considering their next move. Often. And little wonder. In much professional translation work – and whenever even talented translators work under time pressure. I suggest a revival of the principle of adequacy. In contrast to the ‘anything goes’ attitude that may be inferred from the acceptability principle. Whenever a fictional work – which. 5. most translators see themselves as common soldiers in the battlefield. a common occurrence indeed – there simply is no ‘process of choosing among various possible solutions’ and no awareness of ‘all the operative factors’ involved. who preferred acceptability (meaning that the translated text made sense in the target culture) to adequacy (i. No matter whether we look at technical or literary translation. they expect and accept the foreign culture to show. the need for an alternative ideal in translation soon became obvious. conscious comparisons of the pros and cons of a whole series of alternative solutions is wishful thinking.e. 5. in referring to a foreign non-dubbed film. an honest alternative would be to produce an inspirational translation. the truthfulness of the target text vis-a-vis the source text).” (Rich 2004:168). in great parts of today’s translation industry. as defined in section 2. whose author is still featured on the front page. Whenever that principle is deemed too foreign.

and the necessary step taken by many non-Anglophone countries to internationally coproduce films. the various versions available are often parallel versions loosely based on a template (which may never serve as a ‘real’ text) rather than translations of an original. In a chronological sense. The former phenomenon – that regarding which foreign language is the ‘original’ language – is often found in bilingual screen translation. 49 • • . Multilingual originals The phenomenon that original film dialogue increasingly spans several languages may have at least three reasons: • the quest for authenticity. Norwegian and English). Accordingly. This trend became visible in mainstream Hollywood productions in 1990 when in the western “Dances with Wolves” the Sioux Indians spoke Lakota. what we witness here is not two simultaneous translations of one original. while in German the similar term is “Originaltonband”. but even to semiotics (“Which version should be considered the original?”). a number of film-producing countries are turning multicultural and multilingual. the script represents the original (intention) of the film. what really counts is what was recorded – and survived in the final version of the film – and what is now heard by the audience. In Israel. 5. One example of the latter phenomenon is found when a film subtitler must decide whether to translate from a script or directly from the soundtrack. the Old and New Testaments). One often encounters cases where there is no genuine ‘original’. the Hebrew subtitle. It is probably no exaggeration to say that there exists no form of translation in which the notion of an ‘original version’ is completely sustainable. the one subtitled line in Arabic may be a translation of the other half of the subtitle block. In screen translation – from where the following examples are taken – this not only applies to language (“Which is the original language?”).e. these films were screened with ‘original’ subtitles in cinema theaters. i. this notion of one ‘original’ behind each translation does not always apply. for instance. as film dialog is written to be spoken. However.3.g. almost half of the Danish cinematic releases during the 1990s were coproductions. common in countries with two or more major indigenous speech communities. Although in many ways a useful ‘shorthand’ concept.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb French talk about a ‘version original’ (VO). With manuals.1. for instance. several competing versions exist – either in the same language (as is the case with certain works of Shakespeare) or in a number of languages (cf. When translating classical texts. Contrary to what might be expected by external observers. something which quite obviously is not always done. the subtitler should follow the soundtrack. including the Bible. whenever in doubt. with Germany as one example (Heiss 2004: 209). the fact that due to recent immigration.1. and in Latvia. but one translation of the original plus one translation of the other translation. or where one man’s original is another man’s translation. meaning that the original American movie version displayed English subtitles whenever Lakota was spoken. as sophisticated audiences no longer accept non-English characters – e. which acts as the de facto original. and many of them featured actors speaking other languages (typically Swedish. in which ‘foreign’ locations and actors are often used. in lieu of the nearly inaudible ‘real’ foreign-language original. As a case in point. cold-war Russians – speaking (accented) English on screen. the Russian subtitles are translated from – and even synchronized with – the (non-synchronous) Latvian voice-over. and later on DVD and TV (Brandstrup and Redvall 124-126). Thus.

an increasing number of productions are translated via a relay version or a pivot script. are relay translations whose only audience are translators. and with cinema releases.2 Relay translation One final aspect worth mentioning in relation to the notion of originals in translation is relay translation. hence the term pivot translation. With film and television. Down through history. 5. This will inevitably lead to inconsistencies and downright mistakes in translation that would not have occurred in direct translation from the original version (ibid. An example of this is found when. the translation in the relay language (C) is not meant for the public in the C culture. In fact. translations from language A to language B have very often taken other paths than the straight line from A to B. my translation). in his report from the 2005 Montreal Film Festival. which makes the entire setting and atmosphere of the film utterly unconvincing. Pivot translations. (Grigaravičiūt÷ and Gottlieb 1999:46). Thus. However. texts that are never meant to be end products. but merely props that enable translation from a language not (fully) comprehensible to the translator in question. several English 19th century translations of the fairly tales of Hans Christian Andersen were translated from German versions of Andersen. the Swedish subtitle file often forms the basis of the Danish and Norwegian versions. two ‘common truths’ specifically concerning screen translation will be scrutinized separately in the following paragraphs. Thus.). Sometimes. rather than from the original Danish stories (Pedersen 2004:358). and – what is very often found today – translations from ‘minor’ into ‘major’ languages use ‘not so minor’ languages as relays.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb Not allowing actors from various speech communities to perform in their mother tongue may have a disastrous impact on audience response to the film. Notions 1) Semantic reduction cannot be avoided in subtitling 2) Dubbing is not authentic Tab. several works by Shakespeare reached Danish and other audiences through French or German translations of the English originals. then. in satellite-transmitted television in Scandinavia. a Danish film critic said of the coproduced The Headsman: “the many different [English] accents in the film places it in a linguistic no-man’s land.:71 ff. 5. but serves only as a pivot.1.3. or stepping stone on the way from A to B. film dialogue in ‘exotic’ languages is often subtitled by someone who does not speak those languages. the translator will normally work directly from the language A to language B.” (Monggaard 2005: 24. 6: Counter-arguments a) Viewers read faster than ever b) Writing is more concise than speech Dubbing represents semiotic equivalence Debatable Notions – Screen translation in particular 50 .2 Debatable common notions on screen translation Though screen translation has already contributed to the discussion in the previous paragraphs.

and synchronous semiotic channel. Put differently: in a polysemiotic context. the oft-mentioned time-and-space constraints of subtitling may serve as a convenient excuse for leaving out controversial or cumbersome elements of the original film dialog. viewers in today’s subtitling communities are probably faster readers than earlier generations. acting as an additive D. The point here is that a large part of the reduction (still found) in subtitling follows directly from its diasemiotic nature. it is also instrumental in normalizing the text. in which “le spectateur (. There are two reasons for this: (a) The ‘demand’ for text volume reduction in subtitling is neither semiotically nor technically motivated. as part of a transient F. the idea of not reducing the text volume in subtitling would be counterproductive to optimal audience comprehension – and result in poor translation. pragmatic particles and repetitions. the deletion or condensation of redundant oral features is a necessity when crossing over from speech to writing – a language mode more concise than oral discourse. a much-cited feature of subtitling – whether intra. I have defined subtitling as: A.. by presenting the target-language audience with a version less non-standard than the original. the semantic and stylistic content of most spoken lines could be accommodated on screen – a farewell to the usual (quantitative) reduction figures of 20-40% (Gottlieb 1994: 72 and Lomheim 1999: 191). slang. where the long-established ‘six seconds-rule’ – displaying some 12 subtitle characters per second (cps) – has been raised to 16 cps. With more than thirty percent more time for subtitle exposure. Prepared communication B.” (Tomaszkiewicz 1993: 267) Still. semantic voids are often intersemiotically filled Subtitle reading can be compared to a cloze test. 51 .MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb 5. cursing. Although contemporary empirical data on audience perception is lacking. this only goes to show how potentially dangerous the notion of reduction in subtitling is for translation quality..2. mais dont la présence est virtuelle. the intersemiotic redundancy (positive feedback from visuals and soundtrack) in subtitling often secures that the audience miss less of the film content than a merely linguistic analysis might indicate.1 Does subtitling always imply reduction? Elsewhere (Gottlieb 2005a:16).) accepte de reconstruire mentalement ces parties des conversations qui manquent. In conclusion. In this way. using written language C. It is obvious that the trimming of the discourse through the elimination of such propositionally redundant features not only leads to quantitative reductions. an increase of around 35%. E. reduction in verbal content. among the oral features prone to condensation are also stylistically important ones like colloquialisms. the only reason being that the reading speed of viewers is supposed to be slower than the (average) speech tempo in the original dialog. (b) Even without challenging the established presumptions concerning audience reading speed and film comprehension. and polysemiotic text. As is clearly seen.or interlingual – is not considered a defining factor. This is already presupposed by commercial TV stations and parts of the DVD industry. Interestingly.

subtitled by Peter Nørgaard. represented by the first subtitle block.4 seconds. der fik an operation that made the penis til at virke større. as the rhetorical pause between the two segments is (as is customary in Scandinavian subtitling) used as a segmentation point by the subtitler. – 47 (reduced by 25 characters. 2002). 7: Quantitative reduction with no semantic losses 52 . two of which are sheer convention (numbers for polysyllabic numerals. dr. and an abbreviation of an academic title). but not qualitative. a 35 % reduction) Tab. penis seem bigger. In comparison. the subtitler has used three techniques for shortening the text volume.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb 5. Adding to this. a surgeon in China. is 4 percent longer than the original. the resulting exposure time for subtitle 2 is 14 cps. 2004) as Mandens bedste ven. subtitle 2. Thus.1 A simple example of quantitative. – Long (!) – en operation. In the first part of the original narrated sequence. slightly faster than the established norms. A textbook example of this fact was found in the subtitling of the British documentary Man’s Best Friend (Channel Four. Long (!). in accordance with Danish syntactic rules. (!). with the remaining segment (subtitle 2) lasting 3. translated into ‘opfandt’). representing a quantitative reduction of the original 76 characters by 32 percent. reduction As stated above. subtitle 1. 7 shows the verbal content of a short sequence from this broadcast. the economical nature of written language often means that quantitative reduction in subtitling need not imply semantic. which – although freed of the main verb – still takes up 49 characters. the improbably named Doctor Long. invented an operation to make dicks look bigger. English original) – Danish broadcast translation: I 1986 opfandt en kinesisk læge. The entire sentence (In .1. Dr. broadcast by the Danish public-service TV station DR1 (November 17. Danish subtitles Back-translation I 1986 opfandt en In 1986 invented a kinesisk læge. the verb in the main clause (‘invented’. Text volume of initial segment Uncondensed translation: Number of characters I nitten hundrede og seksogfirs 72 (against 76 in the opfandt en kinesisk læge. reduction. doktor Long. bigger) lasts 8. is moved from segment 2 to segment 1. Tab.2. or qualitative.9 seconds. Long Chinese physician. This obligatory need for syntactic reshuffling is reason enough for condensing subtitle 1. has an exposure rate of 9 cps. English narration In nineteen eighty-six. dr. but not as speedy as the previously mentioned ‘commercial’ standard of 16 cps.. 5.. Thus. while the third is highly creative: an exclamation mark in brackets for the adjectival phrase ‘the improbably named’.5 seconds of which is spent on the first segment (equivalent to subtitle 1).

Following the semiotically-oriented comparison. and – in particular – the implications of the national preferences of screen translation method(s). Dubbing. which was seen as basically unauthentic. subtitling is a supplementary mode of translation. Technically speaking.2 Dubbing is not authentic Since the introduction of sound films in the late 1920s. a total remake. this is still a defensible approach to certain types of translation) dubbing gets the upper hand by bravely trying to recreate the authentic cinematic (sound film) experience. in order to ascertain the diverse media-political implications of the various types of translation. as an additional semiotic layer. Subtitles embed us” (Egoyan and Balfour 2004:30). If dubbing did not work. And as surveys have shown (Kilborn 1993).MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb 5. Subtitling constitutes a fundamental break with the semiotic structure of sound film by re-introducing the translation mode of the silent movies. A key issue to those fascinated by subtitling – especially people based in major speech communities rarely exposed to foreign-language imports – is the additive nature of subtitling. The result. Paradoxically. giving viewers total access to the exotic original while being semantically safeguarded by captions in the domestic language. The notion that it is impossible to recreate a filmic illusion in foreign minds is an illusion itself. would only be recognized as a sort of translation by those who know the original production and speak the language used in it – not enough people to shatter the illusion of dealing with an original production. Still more critics were skeptical toward dubbing. 6 Translation types compared This final section of the paper will present a juxtaposition of nine types of translation. including the three dominant methods of screen translation: subtitling. represents a substitutional mode and is thus the only semiotically equivalent form of screen translation. and subtitling was seen by many as a step back. linguistic and cultural parameters. i.e. most foreign-film aficionados have been strongly in favor of subtitling when forced to choose between the translation methods available. the discussion will conclude by comparing six of the types analyzed with regard to a number of esthetic. written signs. on the other hand. all methods of translation have been under fire. Many non-English speaking viewers of American sitcoms. As expressed by Canadian film director Atom Egoyan: “Subtitles offer a way into worlds outside of ourselves. do not even realize that they are being manipulated by their local dubbing industry. major parts of the audience in dubbing countries – especially TV viewers – are happy with what they hear. for instance. subtitling – although retaining the original soundtrack and thus creating a more authentic impression than dubbing – is less authentic than dubbing. And to this day. now that voices could be heard in the cinema. the only semiotically 100 percent authentic type of screen translation would imply that one should not only alter the soundtrack in order to keep the semiotic balance. 53 . (Its underdog competitor. This thrilling experience. almost like watching dangerous animals from behind an armored glass screen in the zoo.2. but also recreate all semiotic tracks of the original production. voice-over. is shared by many in the film industry. dubbing and voiceover. Especially within the target-culture acceptability paradigm (although criticized above. why would TV stations spend so much money on postsynchronizing programs when they could have them subtitled for about one tenth of the price? To be sure. from a semiotic point of view. places itself between two stools by layering the revoiced soundtrack on top of the original dialog track).

As in the previous table. Finally. but rather with degrees on a cline between two extremes. while its two rivals are handed four stars each. With dubbing ten times more costly than both subtitling and voice-over. of course. on affordability – a quite central parameter in the translation business – dubbing is rated a two-star enterprise.1). 9 uses zeros and stars (asterisks. while four stars represents the optimum. 6. various emblematic types of translation – all of them stamping their mark on the language communities in which they are common and favored. Tab. as we are no longer dealing with binary oppositions. of assets and deficits of the selected specimens of the vast reservoir of translations that surround us. In this table it only appears once (in the foreign-culture mediation column) as an illustration of the futility in trying to estimate how ‘foreign’ a domestic program is likely to be. the reason. Tab. I hope the tables will tell their tale of likenesses and differences. are compared. to be exact). 54 . polysemiotic types in which one semiotic channel carries less than 5% of the semantic load (cf. is that domestic productions (whether remakes or original programs) are even more expensive: hence the single star in that cell. 8. some TV genres tend to be almost claustrofobically local. for instance) may contain more ‘exotic’ content than found in certain imports.1 The stuff that texts are made of: Semiotics in translations In Tab. the void sign (Ø) indicates irrelevance.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb 6. The ‘ambiguous’ notation for voice-over in the third column indicates that this type of revoicing is sometimes made on the spot.2. 4) are considered to operate without that channel. Naturally.2 What translations do to people: Audience benefits of selected types Where Tab. With these introductory remarks. Both are presented to the public without any temporal links to the original works. The zero sign (0) indicates total lack of the quality relevant to the particular column. while other programs (documentaries. The void signs (Ø) in the third column from the right illustrate that the designation ‘synchronous’ is neither relevant to drama nor to literary translations. 8 used pluses and minuses to indicate whether a certain requirement was fulfilled or not. as stipulated in the taxonomy in tables 1 and 2. As parameters for this comparison I have used the five defining features of subtitling (listed in section 5. As a case in point. one might find two stars a bit too kind. The second column lists – for each type – the translational category in which it belongs.

interlingual and hyposemiotic Tab. verbalizing and hyposemiotic Cell 23: Conventional. interlingual and isosemiotic + + – + + + (2 channels) – + – – + + (2 channels) Voice-over +/– – (–) – + + (3 channels) Dubbing + – – + + + (3 channels) Audio description + – – – + + (2 channels) Drama translation + – – Ø + + (3 channels) Literary translation + + – Ø – – (1 channel) Simultaneous Cell 26: interpreting Conventional. interlingual and diasemiotic Prepared Written Additive Synchro. interlingual and isosemiotic Cell 9: Inspirational. intralingual and hyposemiotic Cell 30: Conventional.Trannous sient + + + Polysemiotic + (4 channels) + + Subtitling for Cell 30: the deaf Conventional. interlingual and isosemiotic Cell 23: Conventional. intralingual and hyposemiotic Live subtitling for the deaf Cell 30: Conventional. interlingual and isosemiotic Cell 23: Conventional. 8: – – – – + – (1 channel) Translation methods I: Semiotic qualities (intended audiences) 55 .MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb Translation type ‘Normal’ subtitling Semiotic categorization Cell 24: Conventional.

Semiotic Dialogue Content Access Foreign. (from Iceland to Finland.authentic media.Literacy Domesticability boosting tion ** **** **** *** * ** 0 **** * **** ** *** * **** ** ** **** ** 0 **** * 0 *** 0 *** ** ** Linguistic integrity (no translationese) * ** *** Dubbed TV Subtitled TV Voiced-over TV Domestic TV productions Translated drama Book translations Simultaneous interpreting * **** **** **** **** Ø 0 0 **** **** ** **** *** *** * * 0 0 **** *** ** **** *** **** * *** 0 **** *** *** *** *** * *** *** ** 0 0 **** *** Tab. This is true whether we look at audience-selected types of translation (as when someone prefers a translated novel instead of a subtitled screen adaptation) or consider situations where the choice of translation method has already been made by text providers (TV stations. with 56 2) 3) . Estonia). subtitling is preferred to voice-over in broadcasting a foreign comedy series.) Western European major speech communities dub all foreign programs. Spain. Instead of. Eastern European speech communities are divided. little has changed in the past decades as regards preferences in TV translation methods: although subtitling has gained ground in former voice-over territory (e. 9. In Europe. 9 will explain why all three methods are still very popular in their home constituencies. for instance. dubbing is only found in broadcasts for children. To circumscribe Marshall McLuhan: ”the medium of translation is the message”. (England. I will test whether the data in Tab. and from Portugal to Greece. 9: Translation methods II: Media-political qualities (general audiences) 6.) as when.g. for instance. roughly speaking. I will refrain from discussing the contents and implications of the individual cells in the table – let alone draw any bombastic conclusions on the relative merits of the various types of translation represented here. etc.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb Type of production Afford.3 Translation methods. choreographing a final showdown between the three dominant (interlingual) screen translation methods. France. merits and national preferences As is clearly shown in Tab.Foreign. the type of translation chosen may be just as important as what texts we are dealing with or what ’strategies’ translators tend to choose. the situation is still as it was during the Cold War: 1) Western European speech communities with less than 25 million inhabitants prefer subtitling on TV. and dubbing may have cemented its status in some major speech communities (especially Great Britain). Germany and Italy never subtitle TV programs).to culture language training language ticity -city tion original media.

boosting of the domestic language and smooth content mediation (in other words: viewer-friendly and localized versions of foreign productions). semantic loans. forcing translators not to alienate their bilingual readers by straying too far 57 . As a covert form of translation. and yet others.2 The attractions of subtitling Whenever affordability. acquisition of foreign-language and reading skills are prioritized in audiovisual translation.1 The advantages of voice-over Based on the data in Tab.4 Linguistic integrity in translation In this final paragraph. predominant in for instance Lithuania – with regard to linguistic integrity. which tend to be more culturally self-sufficient. 8). 6. 9. this time comparing the three screen methods with drama translation. 6.g. it is fair to say that voice-over. subtitling is the obvious solution. 9. comes out as the winner of the two revoicing competitors not only in terms of affordability. and broadcasters emphasize semiotic authenticity. including calques. 6. the Czech Republic and Hungary) favoring dubbing. but also when it comes to retaining some of the original flavor (cf. the ’access to original’ quality) and – especially important from a puristic point of view. dubbing strikes a comfortable balance between presenting foreign (TV) genres and interestingly ’exotic’ settings and at the same time ridding viewers of two subtitling evils: listening to incomprehensible dialogue and having to read while trying to enjoy the action onscreen. the poor cousin of (lip-sync) dubbing. in both senses of the word. dubbing is the undisputed choice. others (e.3. It may come as a surprise that the two dominant screen translation types score lower than both voice-over and their ’off screen’ counterparts. Voice-over being non-synchronous (cf. preference for English lookalikes. Gottlieb 2004).g. and there is no doubt that especially the knowledge of foreign languages has been boosted in the subtitling countries (cf. subtitling seems to be a sensible choice in relatively small countries. literary translation and simultaneous interpreting. I will briefly discuss the question of linguistic integrity in translation. 6.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb • • • some countries (e. types of translation which tend to contain many instances of translationese – these days typically Anglicisms. Historically. dialog authenticity. As is signaled in Tab.3. (Gottlieb 2005b) – will obtain low scores in the far-right column of that table. Thus. what began as an economic necessity in minor European speech communities during the Depression in the early 1930s soon became a linguistic virtue. nor does it allow the audience to follow the original dialogue and thus exert foreign influence that way. Slovenia. what is hinted at with the term ’linguistic integrity’ is the likeliness than a given type of (interlingual) translation will yield verbal discourse which is idiomatic and thus not prone to displaying features from the source language. in which knowledge of foreign cultures is a basic condition for survival – as opposed to larger nations.3 The assets of dubbing When money is not the option. In other words. it neither has the need to emulate foreign (mostly English) syntax and lexis on local lips. The earlier-mentioned media-specific constraints of subtitling (the audible dialogue. Croatia and Romania) preferring subtitles. To a large extent this is due to the immediacy of film and TV. including Latvia.3. etc. Lithuania and Russia are in favor of voice-over. Tab.

109-137. N. (Herbst 1994. Whether translators choose to do so is a matter of personal integrity. thus placing it on apart with simultaneous interpreting (in which the interpreter has considerable freedom as regards the linguistic expression) as well as literary and drama translation.established one in Translation Studies. all defined. the individual translator and his or her specific choices are the most decisive factor in the translation of language-play in film. which reflects the fact revealed by several studies that even printed translations display several traits of translationese. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press Chaume. Although the notion of translational strategies. but even within conventionalized translation. Gottlieb 1999 and 2001).” (Schröter 2005: 367). this is a matter of course. a well. 7 Conclusion: the human factor in translation This paper has focused on the multi-facetted nature of translation. this remains a fact. and on the plethora of translational types. P. something which is not the issue here – but certainly a topic deserving scholarly attention. monosemiotic translation – represented in the tables by literary translation and simultaneous interpreting – display extremely high degrees of translational freedom. (2004) ‘Film Studies and Translation Studies: Two Disciplines at Stake in Audiovisual Translation’. E. a major empirical study on how various (national) language versions. the low scores in the ’access to original’ column). Anders Toftgaard & Ian Halvan Hawkesworth (eds). As a case in point. discussed and compared against a semiotic backdrop. Meta 49 (1): 78-80. (Gellerstam 1986 and Tirkkonen-Condit 2002). dealt with punning concluded that ”apart from the characteristics of the source-text sequence. What has been addressed just in passing is the human factor. Brandstrup. & Redvall. (2004) Audio-Description. As mentioned above. In doing so. inMeta 49 (1): 12-24 58 . was criticized for lending itself to conceptions of translators as near-omniscient beings consciously selecting solutions to translational conundrums. 8 References Benecke. dubbed and/or subtitled. the style and talents of the individual translator will always play a key role in shaping the translated text. Tendenser i ny dansk film. (2003) ‘Fra Babettes gæstebud til Blinkende lygter. The measurable importance of semiotic structures notwithstanding. While the linguistic integrity of both written and oral monosemiotic translation may be somewhat higher than that of the polysemiotic types dubbing and subtitling. Internationaliseringen af dansk film’. the role of the translator is central. F. the non-synchronous nature of voice-over is what maintains its relatively high linguistic integrity. no type of translation obtains maximum points in this column.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb from the original syntax) and dubbing (the demands of lip-synchrony in close-ups) both produce a considerable number of features of translationese – in casu Anglicisms. B. It is still my hope that with this paper I have contributed to refining the terminology and widening the conceptual framework of Translation Studies in a time in which humans increasingly communicate within highly complex semiotic structures. With regard to inspirational translation. Nationale spejlinger. the semiotic nature of these translation types makes it possible for translators to take great liberties with text content and style (cf. However.

----.(2001) In video veritas: Are Danish voices less American than Danish subtitles? In La traduccion in los medios audiovisuales. -----. University of Copenhagen: Center for Translation Studies and Lexicography. ----. Video and DVD’.(1997) Subtitles. On the foreignness of film. A. 169-181. Medlemsblad for Engelsklærerforeningen for Gymnasiet and HF 130: 44-53.pdf (introduction) ----. -----. (eds) (2001) (Multi) Media Translation. (Original edition 2003. Lars Wollin & Hans Lindquist (eds). in RILA (Rassegna Italiana di Linguistica Applicata) in Perspectives. (Reprinted in Gottlieb 2005a) ----. (Reprinted in Gottlieb 2005a). Frederic Chaume & Rosa Agost (eds).(1999) ‘The impact of English: Danish TV subtitles as mediators of Anglicisms’.in Zeitschrift für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 47 (2): 133-153. Proceedings of the Marie Curie Euroconferences MuTra ‘Challenges of Multidimensional Translation’ . 193-220. -----. I.& Gottlieb. (1986) ‘Translationese in Swedish novels translated from English’.(2005a) ‘Texts. Jorge (2007): “Back to the Future in Subtitling”. H. 88-95. dubbing and voice-over: 1-40. University of Copenhagen: Center for Translation Studies and Lexicography. Gellerstam. & Balfour. (1994) Tekstning – synkron billedmedieoversættelse.(2005b) ‘Anglicisms and Translation’. [Danske Afhandlinger om Oversættelse 5]. ----. (2004) ‘Introduction’. Massachusetts: MIT Press and Alphabet City Media. 21-30. U. Gottlieb. Gambier. H.(2003a) ‘Tekstning – oversættelse for åben skærm’.& Balfour. Eight studies in subtitling.& Mudersbach. Cambridge. 161-184. in ----. Proceedings of the Marie Curie Euroconferences MuTra ‘Challenges of Multidimensional Translation’ Saarbrücken 2-6 May 2005. Studies in Translatology 11 (3): 167-187. in In and Out of English: For Better. TV. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Saarbrücken 26 May 2005. Heidrun (2007): “Multidimensional Translation“. Klaus (1998): Methoden des wissenschaftlichen Übersetzens. 59 . M. in Egoyan & Balfour (eds).). Tübingen – Basel: Francke.(2003b) ‘Parameters of Translation’. Castelló de la Plana: Publicacions de la Universitat Jaume I. in Screen Translation. I. Lund: Lund University Press. Translation and Idioms. (eds) (2004) Subtitles.Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. University of Copenhagen: Center for Translation Studies.(2004) ‘Language-political implications of subtitling’.(2002) "Titles on Subtitling 1929-1999 – An International Annotated Bibliography: Interlingual Subtitling for Cinema. in Translation Studies in Scandinavia. and in Denmark’.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb Díaz Cintas. Online version: www.unipv. (2004) Tradaptation Cinématographique. Eco.) Egoyan. -----. in Anglo Files. In Orero (ed. Y. ----. Translation and Subtitling – In Theory. London: Phoenix. Gerzymisch-Arbogast. For Worse?: Gunilla Anderman & Margaret Rogers (eds). ----. (2004) Mouse or Rat? Translation as Negotiation. (1-2): 215-397.

in Egoyan & Balfour (eds). I.Saarbrücken 2-6 May 2005.) (2004) Topics in Audiovisual Translation. in On Translation. Copenhagen. O’Hagan. in Meta 49 (1): 208-220. T. Peter (to be published in 2007): „Website Localization and Translation“. London: Roehampton University. Proceedings of the Marie Curie Euroconferences MuTra ‘Challenges of Multidimensional Translation’ . R. (ed. Minako (2007): “Multidimensional Translation: A Game Plan for Audiovisual Translation in the Age of GILT“. Karlstad. Poyatos. & Peeters A. Rich. T. Monggaard. (ed. Pedersen. C. Jan (to be published in 2007): “Translating Music”.Saarbrücken 2-6 May 2005. Neves. (Reprinted in Venuti (ed. in Media. B. 83-100. Text. Gunilla Anderman & Margaret Rogers (eds). 60 . Sandrini. (2004) ‘Dubbing Multilingual Films: A New Challenge?’.) 2000: 113-118. Reuben Brower (ed. Herbst. (1993) ‘“Speak my language”: Current attitudes to television subtitling and dubbing’. Kunold. B. K. R. (2005) Shun the Pun. R. (2005) ‘Kunstnerisk udvanding’. in European Journal of Communication 17 (3): 325-354. Kurz. Orero P. in Information. S. Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.). (2002) ‘The pros and cons of dubbing and subtitling’. (2004) ‘To read or not to read: Subtitles. (1994) Linguistische Aspekte der Synchronisation von Fernsehserien. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Studies in Translatology 7 (1): 41-80. (1959) ‘On Linguistic aspects of Translation’. Rescue the Rhyme? The Dubbing and Subtitling of Language-Play in Film. H. Grigaravičiūt÷. in Target 14 (2): 207-220. Koolstra. in Word. The mechanics of non-synchronous translation’. September 7. (2002) ‘Translatione – a myth or an empirical fact?’. Proceedings of the Marie Curie Euroconferences MuTra ‘Challenges of Multidimensional Translation’ . (2004) ‘Television as a Source of Information for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired Captions and Sign Language on Austrian TV’. Subtitling: A case study from Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK). Jakobson. Yvonne (to be published in 2007): “Are Theatre Surtitles an Adequate Mode of Translation? Towards an Integrative View of Translation in the Theatre”. I. (Reprinted in Gottlieb 2005a) ----. & Gottlieb. Lithuanian voice-over. H. (1999) ‘Danish voices.) (1997) Nonverbal Communication and Translation. and monolingualism’. H. L. C. F. 190-207. Josélia (2005) Subtitling fort he Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing. (1999) ‘The writing on the screen. Oslo’. Sweden: Karlstad University Studies. Schröter.). 2005. V. (2004) Ugly Ducklings? Studies in the English Translations of Hans Christian Andersen’s Tales and Stories. S. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. & Mikulasek. Translation. (Reprinted in Gottlieb 2005a) Heiss. PhD Thesis. in Perspectives. Proceedings of the Marie Curie Euroconferences MuTra ‘Challenges of Multidimensional Translation’ .Saarbrücken 26 May 2005.) Kilborn. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag.(ed. Cambridge. & Spinhof. in Meta 49 (1): 81-88. Proceedings of the Marie Curie Euroconferences MuTra ‘Challenges of Multidimensional Translation’ . Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Saarbrücken 2-6 May 2005. Tirkkonen-Condit. 153-169.. trailers. Lomheim. Odense: University Press of Southern Denmark. Culture and Society 15: 641-660.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb Griesel.

it/wwwling/gottlieb. Vermeer. Poznan: Adam Mickiewicz University Press. 61 . (1995) Descriptive Translation Studies – and Beyond. T. (1993) Les opérations linguistique qui sous-tendent le processus de soustitrage des film. Proceedings of the Marie Curie Euroconferences MuTra ‘Challenges of Multidimensional Translation’ .) (2000) The Translation Studies Reader. www. P. L.).(ed.).pdf (main bibliography). Venuti. in Venuti (ed. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 327-342.unipv. Mathias (2007): “How to Make a Haptic Device Help Touch Virtual Histological Slides“.Saarbrücken 2-6 May 2005. (Translated by Andrew Chesterman. 221232. original edition 1989) Wagner. H. (1997) ‘Dubbing and the nonverbal dimension of translation’. Toury. J. Zabalbeascoa. in Poyatos (ed.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Henrik Gottlieb Tomaszkiewicz. G. London and New York: Routledge. (2000) ‘Skopos and commission in translational action’.

EU-High-Level Scientific Conference Series MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings

Yvonne Griesel (Berlin)

Surtitles and Translation Towards an Integrative View of Theater Translation
1 2 3 4 5 6 Introduction Theater Translation (TT) Surtitling Are surtitles an adequate mode of translation? Concluding Remarks and Outlook References

Theater translation (TT)1 is realized by way of surtitling, simultaneous interpreting, summarizing translation and other modes of translation. It does not appear as a research topic in the literature before Griesel (2000). Its object is to investigate different ways of interlingual transfer characterized by the fact that the boundaries between interpreting and translation are blurred. In contrast to drama translation, the production as a whole constitutes the ‘source text’. It has a multidimensional dimension in that translation modes are blurred and in that the target text may be presented in both written and/or oral form. The article will present an outline of the research area of TT and shows how it constitutes an autonomous area of research that deserves to be treated independently of drama translation, subtitling and surtitling in the opera. From a translatological point of view it is interesting because it combines and integrates different modes of translation. This paper will discuss discuss the possibilities of an adequate transfer of a French-speaking production by means of surtitles without destroying the complex semiotic structure of the theatrical work of art. It will also show the limits of surtitling in the theater and the need to consider theater translation as a whole in order to produce adequate target texts. TT may be provided by surtitles, simultaneous interpreting, written synopses or other, alternative forms and thus falls within the framework of multidimensional translation.

1 Introduction
This article explores the following questions: 1. Is it possible - using surtitles - to transfer a French-language production adequately into German without destroying the complex semiotic structure2 of the theatrical performance? 2. Where are the limits of surtitling in the theater ? 3. Why it is essential to consider theater translation as a whole, in order to produce an adequate3 target text? I begin by briefly sketching what TT is, then take a closer look at surtitling and its specifics, using a few examples to illustrate how they are made up, and finally turn to the central

1 2

The following article and terminology is based on Griesel (2000: 13) Fischer-Lichte (1998: 27-28) 3 I use the word in the sense proposed by Reiß (1995: 107ff.). © Copyright 2005-2007 by MuTra


MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Yvonne Griesel

question of whether surtitles are an adequate method of translation for foreign-language theatrical productions. I will make my arguments more explicit by means of presenting a TT model and will close with a summary.

2 Theater Translation (TT)
Research on TT began in 2000 and refers to the oral and written translation of foreign language theatrical productions to be shown to audiences of different languages. This form of translation can be found mainly at international theater festivals such as those held in Avignon, Edinburgh or Vienna4. Within TT, the ‘source text’ is the production as a whole which needs to be taken into account when translating. One of the distinctive features of TT is that it is experienced only once at a particular moment and time. The translation process involves translation outside of the specific theatrical performance in that translations are inserted into surtitle lists, taken into the interpreter's booth or distributed to the audience as synopses5. What is specific to TT is that the source text is the performance rather than the written text of the drama. Thus the problems involved are quite different to those of a translation of a play or a literary text. The performance takes place within a limited temporal framework. Theater translation depends on the given situative context, and has much in common with the interpreting process. The translation of a specific production must function within the allotted temporal framework. When a foreign-language production comes to the stage, whether as part of a festival or a guest performance, a translation process is necessary if the play is strongly text-based. This process can occur in several ways, including: 1. 2. 3. A summarizing translation: Before the performance, the audience receives a written synopsis of the play and watches the play without further translation. Surtitles: Surtitles present text passages in a condensed, translated form and are manually projected onto the stage. Simultaneous interpretation: The audience is provided with headphones and listens to a simultaneous live interpreting during the performance.



This very new field of research has only attracted attention in the past ten years. It is a rapidly changing field. because of technological advances and is becoming increasingly important with the number of international festivals increasing in the past ten years (cf. the annual festival calendar in the theaterheute issues between 1995- 2005, nos. 5 and 6). 'A summarizing translation of a foreign-language production is comparable to an abstract. (according to Oldenburg's definition "abstracts should be 'autonomous', i.e., comprehensible without any knowledge of the reference text" (1992: 77). Cf. also the German National Standards Organisation (DIN): "The abstract provides a brief and clear account of the contents of a document. It should be informative without interpreting or evaluating... and understandable without the original". (DIN 1426: 2) The term ‘abstract’ can only be used for the ideal-typical form of a summarizing translation, some examples, (the synopsis of the production Oh les beaux jours by Peter Brook) deviate from the definition of an abstract to the extent that they offer additional explanations and interpretations, and thus are better categorized as "summaries that make arguments and draw conclusions" (see Oldenburg 1992: 105). The translation must be kept short enough for the audience to be able to read it before the performance, either in total, or at least parts of it, e.g. the text up to the interval. Translations in the form of abstracts are very inexpensive, and frequently used options in foreign-language productions. There are various types of summarizing translation – shorter, longer, in book or booklet form or as a simple A 4 sheet'. (cf. Griesel 2000:44).


MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Yvonne Griesel


Alternative forms: for example, a translator integrated into the performance interprets, or the TT is rendered by other, experimental means of translation on the stage.

This list does not claim to be exhaustive but is based on observations during the years 1995 to 2005 (cf. Griesel, 2000: 13). Currently, surtitling is the dominant mode of TT and it is increasingly gaining in popularity.

3 Surtitling
Surtitling in the theater is surely not an everyday phenomenon. Its complexity makes it an extremely interesting field of research and makes it an appropriate touchstone for translatalogical insights. Theatrical productions are transitory and in order to judge a translation, one needs to take notes during the individual performance6. Since the lighting often makes it impossible to film the events on stage and render the surtitles in visible form, it is frequently necessary to painfully piece together a source text7 of notes taken during the performance and from memory as well as from surtitle lists and books. Thanks to digital technology, I was able to record five French-language performances in such a way that I was able to analyze the entire source text. Since decisions for or against various means of transmission often follows highly subjective criteria, I have tried to objectivize surtitling by assembling a diachronic corpus that incorporates the development of surtitling over the past decade on the one hand and that takes into consideration the complexity of the texts on the other hand. I consider both classical and contemporary plays, which I have attempted to organize into a typology. As the model in Figure 1 illustrates, also included in the analysis are the translated dramas, which exist on the reference level as part of the source text. The model applies to the language pair French – German on three levels. On the one hand, we have the German surtitles, which are visible to the audience, and on the other the performance level, on which the French-language productions are watched and heard. I have distinguished between four types of texts: 1. the canonical original dramatic text (ODT) 2. the non-canonical original dramatic text (ODT) 3. the canonical translation of the drama (DT) 4. the non-canonical translation of the drama (DT) These categories do not claim to be comprehensive. The open arrows indicate further possibilities. The analysis of my corpus8 revealed that such a differentiation is necessary for TT, because it entails various translation approaches. This can be noticed on the reference level, which contains texts that either enter the surtitles directly or play a decisive role in the process.


The problems of note-taking in TT hardly differ from those used in analyses of performances in the field of theater studies (cf. Fischer-Lichte 1999: 112ff.). Sometimes there is even less willingness to co-operate when it comes to TT, since surtitling is regarded as a rather unimportant part of the production and its treatment is thus considered superfluous. 7 I use the term ‘source text’ to refer not just to the entire production as a semiotic unit as defined by FischerLichte (1998:27-28), but rather to "any more or less clearly distinguishable and interpretable quantity of signs that serve as the basis of information for a translation" (Prunč 2003: 29), which includes the translated dramas existing on the level of reference. 8 I analysed eight French-language, German surtitled performances from the period between 1996 and 2004, and the distinction between these four types of text proved useful (cf. Griesel 2000).


MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Yvonne Griesel

Figure 1: Reference Level influences on TT

A few examples may serve to illustrate the model. An original text has the greatest weight on the reference level. This means that when, for example, a French translation of a German play, whether by Goethe, Brecht or in my case by Grabbe, is performed in Germany, the original German text appears again in the surtitles and resists any compression. The following example from Bernard Sobel's production of Napoléon ou les Cent Jours, performed on 26 September 1996 at the Hebbel Theater in Berlin, and surtitled by Caroline Elias, underlines this clearly.
Surtitle - Die Stimme kenn‘ ich von den Pyramiden her. Mein Hauptmann, seit Ägypten sah ich ihn nicht. Stage text Cette voix – je la connais depuis les Pyramides, quand nous plantions notre drapeau, le tricolore, tout en haut des minarets du Caire, et qu’à nos pieds le Nil roulait ses flots. Mon capitaine, je ne t’ai pas vu depuis l’Égypte. Original drama Die Stimme kenn’ ich von den Pyramiden her, als wir da unser Trikolor hoch über Kairos Minarets aufpflanzten, und der Nil zu unsern Füßen rollte. Mein Hauptmann, seit Ägypten sah’ ich dich nicht.

A very high value is placed on the 'sacred original', which remains intact. In the case of original dramatic texts, such as L'Avare, which have become part of the international canon, a recognized translation, which sometimes attains a virtually 'sacred' status too, exists on the reference level. One need only think of the German Shakespeare translations by Schlegel and Tieck. Nevertheless, the reference level is treated more freely, as we can see from the analysis of Roger Planchon's production of L'Avare, which was staged at the Deutsches Theater on 20 June, 1999, with the surtitles by Michel Bataillon based on a translation by Christel Gersch. 65

.. the adjectives are frequently removed. ich bin nicht sicher. et je ne suis pas sûre qu'on entre dans mes sentiments. Reference level aber vielleicht genügt es nicht. but a somewhat more liberal handling of the text on the reference level is evident. At the Goethe Festival in Munich in 1999. mich vor den anderen freizusprechen. but with interventions: the first clause is removed. Far greater changes are made to texts for which no well-known. Note that in order to further shorten the titles. Stage text Philemon alla à la poste de Sophiatown. daß sie meine Gefühle teilen werden. qui se situe exactement entre Sophiatown et la ville des blancs de Westdene. We must also consider another peculiarity of theater translation. " ("Now here I stand". which extend the source text by the dimension of translation. mais ce n'est pas assez peutdaß die anderen meine Gefühle teilen werden. I mention this instance to emphasize how important it is to distinguish between different types of theatrical texts. let alone canonical. The intervention is minor. Sutitles Der Tunnel mündet vor einer Tudorfassade aus fast grauem Stein. le tunnel obscur débouche sur une façade Tudor en briques presque grises. The form that most closely resembles film subtitles is that used for the French-language play Le Colonel des Zouaves. the surtitler adopted the basic structure. Surtitle Philemon ging zur Post. die genau zwischen Sophiatown und der Stadt der Weissen in Westdene liegt. Reference level Philemon ging zur Post in Sophiatown. however. which was performed in Berlin in 2000 with surtitles by Uli Menke based on the translation by Isolde Schmitt. from Faust's first soliloquy in the play) and simply had Faust continue without further surtitles. boursouflées de verrières élisabéthaines à vitraux armoriés. of which no German translation exists. The audience is also divided into different groups. that all forms of transmission are additive forms of translation. An example is Peter Brook's production of Le Costume. As we can see. German translation exists. but the words aber (but) and die anderen (the others) are used in the second part. text on stage Après d’innombrables tournants. The sentence structure is largely maintained. vollgestopft mit wappengeschmückten Fenstern. and to underline the central significance of the reference level in this context. An example from the surtitling of the so-called Urfaust. Similarly. illustrates the existence of more positive options. but condensed the content within the sentence structures. and which was presented to the German theater public for the first time in the form of surtitles.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Yvonne Griesel Surtitle Stage text Aber ich bin nicht sicher. die zwischen Sophiatown und der Stadt der Weißen liegt. Ms Spinazzi surtitled a French-language Faust with "Hier steh ich nun . the circle of 66 . être pour le justifier aux autres. namely. since the German-speaking audience could supply the rest themselves. adjectives are absorbed by nouns when the information provided by the adjective appears redundant. One can easily imagine the difficulties a surtitler may have when transforming Goethe's Faust into surtitles.

67 . of which the target language segment is the integral component. and which does not have to rely on subjective reactions by individuals. The tranlator produces a written translation of the source text. but it may also be rendered quite differently by improvisation. the target text is perceived differently. The model represents the surtitling process using the action-theoretical approach 11. 9 For a more detailed discussion see 'Die Inszenierung als Translat. communication is monolingual. The peculiarity of theater translation is that these three modes of communication must occur parallel to each other. communication is monolingual. Thus. It may be very similar to the performance to be surtitled.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Yvonne Griesel recipients include native speakers of the target language and of the source language as well as target-language (TL) speakers with a knowledge of the source language (SL)9. mode of transmission for guest performances. but to a source text that serves as a model for the subsequent translation. 10 This term was coined by Holz-Mänttäri 1993. festival organisers. 12 With this terminology. and overtly. etc. cast changes. Those who commission surtitles. a prototypical source text12 is used here. aided by bilingually mediated communication. Interestingly enough. • either as a source text without translation. address the translation issue after inviting the foreign language productions. at the same time and place. also 1986. and currently the most common.g. 2 shows. errors. Surtitling is a possible. which can be assessed using objective criteria. and consequently the translation process begins with the commissioning of surtitles. cf. 4 Are surtitles an adequate mode of translation? My reflections have centered around the question of whether surtitles are an adequate means of transmitting a production into German. For the third segment of the audience. The study has shown first of all that this complex translation process involves two phases of production: a translation phase and an interpreting phase. and assign the task to a translator. My intention was to tone down the heated debate by introducing some objectivity and the results of my research have hopefully provided some food for thought in that they have shown that theater translation is a complex translation process. The term ‘prototypical source text’ refers to a videotape of a specific performance of the production. • with occasional reception of the translation • or as a complete target text. Audience (TL) Audience (SL) Audience (TL + SL Knowledge) Production (SL) This means that between the stage and one segment of the audience. that is. I do not refer to prototype semantics. Möglichkeiten und Grenzen der Theaterübertitelung' (Griesel 2007). The suggested model shows that in order to do justice to the complexity of the surtitling process. e. we must regard it as 'text design'10 as Fig. 11 As proposed by Holz-Mänttäri in 1984. communication is bilingually mediated. while between the stage and the second part of the audience. a question which was passionately discussed during all guest performances with other forms of theater translation also tending to be supported or rejected on the basis of rather subjective arguments.

MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Yvonne Griesel Fig. 2: Theater Translation (TT) Model 68 .

the degree of abridgement. 69 . During surtitling. In order to do so. at this stage. A number of different programs are currently in use. but it may also be rendered quite differently by improvisation. this pre-existing written translation can only be changed to a very limited extent13. The tranlator produces a written translation of the source text. when looking at the decision not to translate. cast changes. The surtitlers thus hear the source text acoustically and insert the prepared written elements in the target text optically. Since changes during this process. Those who commission surtitles. The model represents the surtitling process using the action-theoretical approach 14. The translation prepared during the initial skopos phase is inserted manually to parallel the source text. unrepeatable and exists solely within a prescribed temporal framework18. Thus. For example. and the like. The term ‘prototypical source text’ refers to a videotape of a specific performance of the production. which is generally a last resort. etc. address the translation issue after inviting the foreign language productions. but to a source text that serves as a model for the subsequent translation. and assign the task to a translator. they naturally need a firm grasp of both languages. The reception corresponds to the reception of simultaneous interpreting. The translators then prepare surtitles in the target language and specify the skopos based on their experience– for example. The commissioning body decides. the possibilities for deletion or condensation. 13 The possibilities for changing the order or text of the surtitles during the performance depend strongly on which surtitling software is used. encompassing various dichotomies. festival organisers. The skopoi may at times be contradictory and incompatible. errors. It becomes evident here that TT generally operates in a field of tension. 18 The definition of interpreting and translation is based on that of Kade (1968:35). Interestingly enough. such as literary versus functional quality. 14 As proposed by Holz-Mänttäri in 1984. the translator's only option may be to refuse the surtitling commission17. introduce a higher degree of abridgement. e. it is unique. from simple PowerPoint to the Torticoli program recently developed in Avignon especially for the theater. A number of different programs are currently in use. they determine which translation to use on the reference level. which allows for new surtitles to be added during the performance. etc.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Yvonne Griesel Thus. cf. which allows for new surtitles to be added during the performance. one must always keep in mind that financial aspects play a key role in sometimes influencing translators' actions.g. and this irreconcileability can prevent an adequate translation. 15 With this terminology. which is highly dependent upon situative factors. 17 Naturally. a prototypical source text15 is used here. and consequently the translation process begins with the commissioning of surtitles. During surtitling. If the skopoi are not irreconcilable. also 1986. which remains authoritative. at this stage. this pre-existing written translation can only be changed to a very limited extent16. It may be very similar to the performance to be surtitled. use complete sentence structures within the individual surtitles to ease understanding and reception. The translation that takes place within the specified skopos is often similar to an interpreting process. the translation process can only approximate the source text of the concrete performance. sometimes in conjunction with the director. etc. but must also rely on previously prepared elements. written versus oral. the translation process can only approximate the source text of the concrete performance. optical versus acoustic reception. are almost impossible within the performance setting. from simple PowerPoint to the Torticoli program recently developed in Avignon especially for the theater.establish a skopos. 16 The possibilities for changing the order or text of the surtitles during the performance depend strongly on which surtitling software is used. the quality of the translation depends heavily on situative factors. as was mentioned above. I do not refer to prototype semantics. what mode of translation is to be used and thus – in a certain way .

21 In general.37 Eine Freundin.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Yvonne Griesel The example that follows19. so that the German speakers sitting in the first circle could not understand the play. Various other obstacles to reception can also play an important role in TT.30 C’est bien pourtant il y a du suspense. According to my observations. too. The second line is the text heard on stage. the target text no longer corresponds to the source text.36 C’est idiot. 22 I have consciously expanded the definition of translation here to include a third category. Bonjour. In the case of Les Nouvelles du Plateau S. on the whole. The most subtly amusing moment came from a technical slip-up. a quotation from the press review from the 1999 Theater der Welt festival nicely puts such matters in words: The charm of the foreign language. I. (Kühl 1999:14) Thus in order to evaluate the overall transmission process. 20 Laurant Gutmann (Théâtre National de Strasbourg): 'Nouvelles du Plateau S'. or vice versa. Up to the meta-level with surtitling: Now that's deconstruction. too. (Ammicht 1999: 19) 19 The tables are organised in such a way that the first line represents the time precisely. If the actors skip a line or a whole passage. one must take into account that surtitling is neither an interpreting nor a translation process. This is especially striking when. This was wholly unintentional. very good. down to the second. 26 May 2004. while on the stage the actors leapt. I chose this production as an example to show what can happen even if the surtitles are. the particular difficulty is that the surtitles continue to be delivered in the programmed order. 11. The following quotation from the press review of the theater festival Theater der Welt in 1999 comments on this phenomenon with a sense of humor. and the third line indicates the standing times of the German surtitles. And the mouse wandering hysterically across the screen with the surtitles. soon palls.Das ist bescheuert Aah. Once again. I refer to such problems as projecting the surtitles too high. since TT involves a mixture of the two categories of (oral) interpreting and (written) translation. 11. the optical part is still visible after the source text can no longer be heard. Thionville. and the audience was not informed in advance. .Aha. Das ist spannender. is taken from the production of Les Nouvelles du Plateau S“20 and shows clearly that the two phases of the surtitling process described above are interrelated and therefore cannot be considered in isolation from each other. shall remain seated' could be read for several minutes. and were prepared and delivered by a very experienced surtitler21. as in this case. such irregularities occur nearly every time surtitles are used. to the extent of producing an unintentional zero-translation (Prunč 1997: 37). but rather a hybrid form22. since only good surtitlers would allow their surtitles to be recorded. Performance: Centre Dramatique de Thionville-Lorraine. (Griesel 2007) 70 . salut. 'Perspectives' 2004.44 As becomes evident here. only people in the stalls could read them. surtitles were invisible from the first circle. as temporally precise as possible. when the surtitles came to a standstill after about two hours. however. 11. Sie ist heute gekommen und bleibt etwas im Hotel. This is no isolated incident. 'We are all vain and useless. and finally no longer clicks anything at all. whether the cause is poor lighting. does not exactly help to save the evening. Obstacles of this kind are very frequent in theater surtitling. which keeps clicking onto the wrong text files. since they were obscured by a photo frieze belonging to the scenery. 11. technical failure or something else. screwed and screeched quite incomprehensibly. any analysis in this area must take into account that all of the translations at my disposal can be assumed to have been far better than average. .

surtitlers treat the text more freely. condensing more by means of interventions in the sentence structure. And these plays are generally abridged by removing sentences and phrases. namely that classics are abridged more extensively than contemporary plays. that older.g. In general it can be said that the degree of abridgement varies widely and depends on the amount of spoken text on the one hand. The reception of the target text implies different requirements. that the results already obtained with subtitling have been applied only intuitively to surtitling in the theater. classic dramas in particular frequently need to be shortened by more than one-third to ease reception. corresponds to simultaneous interpreting with target text production in a written form. (1989). Paradoxically. A greater awareness of these obstacles to reception could lead to serious improvements in surtitling. while maximum projection times and the removal of the individual titles are unknown in surtitling. The reason for this is probably the absence of so-called sacred texts on the reference level.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Yvonne Griesel The reception of the surtitles. The other point that has emerged is that TT treats different types of texts quite differently. and the fact that the plays themselves do not possess such great authority. has become obvious. be precisely the opposite. The text also appears fragmentary. Surtitling can be an adequate method of interlingual transmission within the framework of TT. being presented in a distorted style leads to authors who are unknown abroad. however. and both options must be weighed against each other from the outset. the central issue that emerged during the analysis becomes more than apparent. which must remain visible for a certain period of time. First of all. which reappears in its source language in the surtitles enjoys the highest authority. The procedure should. in principle. and translation 23 I refer here to the definition of loyalty developed by Christiane Nord. At this point. interventions in the textual structure are necessary. A great deal of information is accordingly lost. so as not to change the style and language of the original. a unified textual structure. as the diagram clearly shows. however. First. and on the tempo of speech in the spoken passages on the other. Shortening the source text by one-half leads either to a great loss of information or to grave stylistic changes. Since it has become evident. sometimes even preventing it. or forces the audience to decide for or against one or more theatrical or translatory signs. The only problem arises with surtitles as the exclusive method of translation. The initial goal is for translation to take place. The degree of abridgement of the source text that is needed to create the target text varies widely. It has become apparent. which as a surtitle borrows heavily from subtitles. It is treated as a so-called sacred text. The analysis of my corpus showed that this can range from a scarcely perceptible shortening to losses of nearly 50 %. making it difficult in some cases for the audience to follow the complex plot structure of classical dramas. however. This naturally renders reception far more difficult. the implicit skopos for the translation process is provided by the institution or person commissioning the surtitles. and the translator does not dare to make serious interventions in the textual structure. In the case of contemporary plays. Minimum projection times are generally maintained. after all. since a drama is. Since the relationship is clearly hierarchical. which however frequently contradicts the skopos that the translator chooses on the basis of aspects relevant to translation. however. One tendency. we have the presentation of the target text. however. For generalization purposes one would need to incorporate more plays as well as other language pairs. 71 . e. My findings have clearly shown that a German original text performed in French translation. in Germany and thus to an unintentional but obvious breach of loyalty23 to the playwright on the part of the translator. the reference level contains existing canonical dramas or drama translations and plays a key role in TT. The degree of abridgement arises from the requirement of presenting two-line surtitles.

No doubt there are plays for which surtitling is the appropriate method. 2. the methods are largely translation hybrids. but rather a continuous translation. 5 Concluding Remarks and Outlook In conclusion. With this integrative model. The model in Figure 2 is intended to illuminate the rare case in which the translator is deployed as an expert in TT: This model. however. regardless of the fact that he does not understand the language of the country. however. there is no interference from extraneous noise or additional actors. one can say that surtitling can be a suitable form of transmission for foreignlanguage productions. It was not my intention to evaluate surtitles but to allow for a few doubts about whether. I also understand my work as an argument in favor of considering translators as experts. however. 72 . as many believe. Instead. too. The danger. and other factors. which in the concrete target situation is at the mercy of the performance situation. in that it has accepted the experienced surtitler Uli Menke in his role as an expert. unlike the one presented in Fig. the two-phase nature of the production process and working with a prototype. the translator and customer decide upon a common skopos. It does not intervene too obtrusively in the events on stage. to the commissioning body as well as to the audience. with all its potential surprises. and to embed surtitling in TT. surtitling in the theater is the best mode of transmission for all plays. contradictory skopoi. i. and in what form. This today is still very rarely the case.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Yvonne Griesel is often not accepted as the work of experts. since it has its strengths of course. The Schaubühne in Berlin. theater studies and translation studies. is that it lacks transparency in that the audience does not realize how strongly. The acceptance of the translator as an expert. for an adequate translation can only be provided when all other means available for a successful translation are considered: the cultural memory to fill in the blanks. represents not simply one translation method. difficulties of reception. which are subject to the same difficulties as surtitling. and it provides not the daringly abbreviated form of the printed synopsis. but rather the suitable one. there are no longer contradictory skopoi. as well as financial and temporal aspects. resolves the tension between conflicting skopoi. the careful insertion of additional information in the translation process and the necessity of making full use of all means of artistic expression. one can apply it to virtually any translation process. This shows us how important it is that translators need to be accepted in their role as experts. to oneself. but the entire process of TT. through consultation. and must overcome the same dichotomies. This means allowing them to undertake an analysis from the translatory viewpoint. the presentation of the target text. such as changes on the stylistic level. in order to apply the appropriate method of transmission for the individual production and thus to remain ‘truthful’ to the author. the degree and strategies of abridgement. is an exception to this rule. This process is not specific to TT. however. the text has been abridged. One must be aware of certain factors. implying that they may select the possible form of TT for an adequate translation after an analysis taking into account the perspectives of reception aesthetics. which directors in particular greatly appreciate. In principle. but it solves some of the problems inherent in the complex process of TT. All of these aspects must be weighed with respect to the assumed skopos. and now takes him along as an advisor on TT matters when guest performances are given abroad. Here. the extent of interventions in the stage set. the requirements of translation often give way to other concerns. Taken together. which in turn determines the choice of translation method. which may prevent an adequate translation.e. these prerequisites for an adequate translation underline the necessity of advisory function and of the transparency of the translation process and show that the ideal form of TT for a production is not any particular form.

3: TT Model with translation expert 73 .MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Yvonne Griesel Fig.

Deutsches Institut für Normung. eds. Möglichkeiten und Grenzen der Theaterübertitelung. Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten. One is often tempted to disengage certain areas of TT from translation studies. the other articles in this volume). Beihefte zur Zeitschrift Fremdsprachen. Kurzreferate. 2-15. and I understand my work as an invitation to others to explore this interesting field of study. 154) Fischer-Lichte. and need to be expanded. 6 References Ammicht. if we fail to accept it as the work of experts. since no adequate translation is conceivable otherwise. Christiane (1999): ‘Am Ende der Zukunft’. Erika (1998): Semiotik des Theaters. Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia. It is a fascinating field of study. Leipzig: Enzyklopädie. Justa (1986): ‘Translatorisches Handeln – theoretisch fundierte Berufsprofile’. Volume 1. Griesel. 4th edition. Holz-Mänttäri. which is currently taking place in the theaters of the world. and also include the explicit as well as the implicit skopos. Justa (1993): ‘Bildungsstrukturen und Netzwerk für ein Tätigkeitenfeld Textdesign’. we need to view the forms of TT as potential translation processes. In this sense TT is a prototypical example for the importance of the research field of multidimensional translation (cf. but the aspect of translation is a matter for translation studies. p. Holz-Mänttäri. 74 . which aims to produce the best possible translation. that what we are dealing with is most definitely a translation process. a very challenging enterprise indeed. Die mündliche und schriftliche Übertragung französischsprachiger Inszenierungen ins Deutsche. and to take advantage of the professional competence of translators and the research that is under way on the operationalization of the translation scopos (cf. The present study has shown. we need to overcome the separation between translation and interpreting in our theoretical reflections. In: Die Tageszeitung. A good deal of research remains to be done here. Sunwoo 2007). (1988). Frankfurt/M. Berlin. 24 June. Yvonne (2007): Die Inszenierung als Translat. Kade. 348-374. p. Otto (1968): Zufall und Gesetzmäßigkeit in der Übersetzung. Tübingen: Franke. Holz-Mänttäri. Fischer-Lichte. The preoccupation with TT also shows that an integrative approach is essential for both translation and translation studies. (DIN Taschenbuch. Berlin Beuth. Theorie und Methode. I. On the one hand.: Peter Lang. In: ‘Publikationen und Dokumentationen’ 2. Das System der theatralischen Zeichen. Die Aufführung als Text. 14. Griesel. If the theories of translation studies are too narrow for TT.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Yvonne Griesel The study has shown that far more research is needed in this area. but even unites them in a process of producing translation hybrids. Berlin: Frank und Timme Verlag. In: Snell-Hornby. Kühl. and in the described manner. 28 June. DIN 1426: Inhaltsangaben von Dokumenten. Justa (1984): Translatorisches Handeln. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag. that only means that they have not yet been conceived broadly enough for certain translation processes. In: TextconText 8. Likewise. Yvonne (2000): Translation im Theater. Mary: Übersetzungswissenschaft – Eine Neuorientierung. Erika (1999): Semiotik des Theaters. Volume 3. The coexistence of various skopoi is precisely the point of tension that can hinder translation. Literaturberichte. 4th edition. which not only touches on the problems of interpreting and translating. 19. however. Edition. It is a purposeful process motivated by a dual skopos. Marion (1999): ‘Fluch der Hirschkuh’. Literary and theater studies will address the aesthetic and artistic aspects of theatrical productions. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag. 259-93.

Christiane (1989): ‘Loyalität statt Treue. XXXIV (3). In: Grbić. TEXTconTEXT 14. 100-105.Kommunikation. Prunč. Wien: Universitätsverlag. In: Snell-Hornby. Nadja & Wolf. Tübingen: Stauffenburg Verlag. Vorschläge zu einer funktionalen Übersetzungstypologie’.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Yvonne Griesel Nord. Erich (2000): ‘Vom Translationsbiedermeier zum Cyber-Translation’. Vienna (to be published in the Proceedings 2007). Min (2007): „Operationalizing the Translation Scopos”. 30 April – 4 May 2007. Mary & Kadric. Tübingen: Narr. 75 . Lebende Sprachen. Klaus (1995): Lexikon Theater International. Sunwoo. & Hammer. Paper presented at the MuTra Conference ‘LSP Translation Scenarios’. Reiß. Hermann (1992): Angewandte Fachtextlinguistik: „conclusions“ und Zusammenfassungen.Kultur . Wiener Vorlesungen von Katharina Reiß. Oldenburg. Erich (1997a): ‘Versuch einer Skopostypologie’. Trilse-Finkelstein. Johann Chr. 3-75. Berlin: Henschel Verlag. Katharina (1995): ‘Adäquatheit und Äquivalenz als Schlüsselbegriffe der Übersetzungstheorie und –praxis’. Prunč. Mira (eds): Grundfragen der Übersetzungswissenschaft. Michaela (eds): Text .

Taking the case of PlayStation Final Fantasy games.EU-High-Level Scientific Conference Series MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Minako O’Hagan (Dublin) Multidimensional Translation: A Game Plan for Audiovisual Translation in the Age of GILT Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Context What are video games and how are they globalized? Video game localization models Translation issues Research issues Conclusion and further work References Abstract GILT practices which incorporate Globalization. the new term GILT has been introduced. More recently. Internationalization. This article attempts to shed light into video game localization as an example of emerging GILT practices. Localization and Translation. the term internationalization refers to a specific pre-localization process which involves building technical allowance into the original product to minimize the subsequent need for re-design or © Copyright 2005-2007 by MuTra 76 . gameplay and non-interactive film components all within one platform. which involve elements of audiovisual translation and software localization. 1 Context The 1990s saw the dramatic rise of the localization industry which had emerged during the 1980s. incorporating software features. Localization and Translation continue to develop in response to the market demand while theorization on this dynamic domain is still lagging behind in academia as the industry leads the way. In GILT. The author suggests avenues for Audiovisual Translation research in this less known and yet fast growing area of language transfer. This was beyond the normal call of a translator and as a result a new specialized sector emerged in close association with the computer industry. The main difference between localizing software and translating a piece of text was that the former involved the translated text strings being recompiled into the software environment. Internationalization. Games localisation highlights the multidimensionality of translation arising from the nature of this medium as a digital interactive entertainment. this paper attempts to demonstrate a number of unique aspects of translating video games. reflecting the complexity involved in making a product or content global-ready. It called for combining language translation with software engineering. incorporating Globalization. driven by the international market for personal computers where an increasing number of software programs were required to be localized into target market versions called locales. further entailing new procedures such as functional and linguistic testing of the localized product. GILT places language transfer in the wider context of globalization and also highlights the specific processes necessary to deal with electronic content such as computer software and web sites.

In this way. For example. there are different genres of games which can be classified into 77 . Multidimensionality of game localization is explored linking it to audiovisual translation and software localization. images. and is estimated at 30 in the US. In terms of market scale. in turn. etc. 2004b). To this end. which has an implication for localization and translation issues. Another key terminology in this domain is "interactive publishing" which refers to publishing of interactive software. According to 2005 statistics by the Entertainment Software Association (2005). This article follows the convention in the localization sector and its definition by Frasca (2001:4) as: “any forms of computer-based entertainment software. even the use of the term “video games” (sometimes spelt as one word) itself is in dispute with some games researchers preferring the term “digital games” as in the case of Digital Games Research Association (DIGRA).MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Minako O’Hagan re-engineering. 2004) and established themselves as part of the global pop culture. O’Hagan and Mangiron 2004a. using any electronic platform such as personal computers or consoles and involving one or multiple players in a physical or networked environment”. First of all. Another characteristic is the dominance of Japan as the game producing as well as consuming country. The study of the localization paradigm provides an insight into new emerging dimensions and possibly points to a future translation phenomenon (O’Hagan 2004). the worldwide turnover of the video game industry is comparable to that of the film box office (Grossman. is reflected in the unstable use of terminology within the domain. icons. this article attempts to explain and understand the localization paradigm with a particular focus on video game localization as an example of GILT practices. This article partly draws on earlier studies undertaken with one of the best selling Japanese game title Final Fantasy (Mangiron and O’Hagan 2005. Central to this definition of a video game is that it is regarded as software which is produced for entertainment purposes. The late1970s into the1980s saw the commercial success of Space Invaders. GILT practices continue to evolve in response to market demands for the globalization of a variety of content. This. the games domain is only recently being recognized as a serious target of study in academia (Newman 2004. this domain represents a significant industry sector in terms of a future source of work for translators as well as a wealth of research issues. The history of video games goes back to the early 1960s when Higinbotham. it is relevant to cover some basic building blocks of games which relate to localization. Setting aside the moral questions often associated with video games (Poole 2000). It will also help prepare the translation sector to accommodate the new changes. an engineer at a US government nuclear research lab put together a rudimentary tennis game on an oscilloscope. GILT places language transfer in the wider picture of globalization and also highlights the specific processes needed to deal with electronic content. thus highlighting another prominent characteristic of games: interactivity. Wolf and Perron 2003). 2 What are video games and how are they globalized? Today video games have grown to be the “world’s largest cult phenomenon” (Grossman. Despite its history of developments over nearly half a century and the significance of the market as well as frequent media attention. It also addresses the cultural implications of the original content such as the use of colors. The localization paradigm is maturing on the basis of industry experience while theorization on this dynamic domain is still lagging in academia. followed by Spacewar invented by MIT students (Poole 2000:15-17). In the localization sector the term “video games” seems to be in more common usage as in Chandler (2005). Although it is beyond the scope of this paper to describe the entire domain of video games in detail. either textual or image-based. involving Japanese language. the average age of the players is increasing. ibid).

First Person Shooter (FPS). For example. use of profanity and symbols related to racial hatred. 3 Video game localization models Video game localization is comparable to software localization in a number of aspects. The details of the cycle may differ. Regardless of the type of game. depending on 78 . it can first be analyzed in terms of internationalization requirements. These dimensions are to some extent common with software localization. the pleasure and appeal of gameplay is much more complex than simply climbing up the levels. Driving and Racing. high-fidelity audio etc. all of which affect the localization process. Game localization involves techniques similar to screen translation and yet the nature of the content is such that the norms of audiovisual translation do not always apply (Mangiron and O’Hagan 2005). which may differ from country to country. art (i. consolebased or handheld platforms as well as arcade versions.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Minako O’Hagan separate groups as: Action and Adventure. Looking at the video game from GILT perspectives. core feature set and User Interface (UI) generic enough to minimize re-engineering when the product is localized (Chandler 2005). game developers need to take into consideration censorship and age rating requirements in the internationalization process. AI (artificial intelligence). Platform and Puzzle. The use of actual human voices for in-game dialogs is a relatively new technical dimension which became available only with sufficient hardware memory. the gameplay needs to be relevant to the target player in terms of features and culture-specific references. Interface. Germany’s ratings board USK (Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle) is well known for its strict mandatory rules for gore/violence levels. This also meant that there are many more elements to be localized than earlier games. including the overall localization cycle. Role Playing Games (RPG). Nevertheless. and Sports and Beat-‘em-ups (Berens and Howard 2001:25-26). As touched on earlier. creating more compelling gameplay experience. Internationalization of a game involves making such elements as the code base. Sound. a common principle behind gameplay is for the player to progress to a higher more difficult level according to the rules set by the game. Regardless of genre. The advancement of computer technology and increased production budgets have changed the landscape of video games today with the use of 3-D graphics. games consist of definite elements such as Graphics. This constitutes the only non-interactive element within the game and its rationale is debated among some players as well as games researchers (Newman 2004). Furthermore. Also. Cut-scenes refer to mini-films inserted within a game typically in-between levels to move the plot along or at the end of the game as a reward. Strategy and Simulation. graphics with textual components) as well as cinematic assets commonly known as cut-scenes. Different genres and platforms highlight different research issues and thus are significant in games research. Games also come in PC-based. songs also constitute an important component subject to translation as discussed later. This factor is as significant to game localization as the question of how to re-create the equivalent gameplay experience in a localized version is one of the critical issues constituting the ultimate goal of game localization. In-game audio assets are dialogs between characters and environmental sounds which may or may not be subject to localization.e. Any game to be exported to Germany should ideally be designed at the start with these requirements in mind. this process entails preparing the content to facilitate the subsequent localization and translation. the game code should be able to support the required character sets while UI design needs to incorporate the target text string expansion. it is a significant element from the localization point of view as it becomes subject to translation in the form of dubbing and subtitling. For example. However. Additionally. Gameplay and Storyline (Howland 1998). including various in-game assets such as text. audio.

000 units in Japan (http://japmax. all the spoken dialogs are in American English with Japanese subtitles1 whereas the rest of the game such as UI elements and other in-game messages are in Japanese. in fact. 79 . the most important and curious point from translation perspectives is the fact that this hybrid version is created from a localized version by translating it back into the source language. A localization model which is unique to games. 3 For example. the Japanese subtitles for in-game dialogues are produced fresh to match the dubbed American version. in particular.htm). to certain Japanese game developers/publishers. This International version also incorporated some major new gameplay features2. A case in point is the PlayStation2 game Final Fantasy X-2 International and Last Mission (referred to as FFX-2 International hereafter) published in 2004. but this example serves to illustrate: (i) how the conventional relationship of translation to the source text (content) takes on a different meaning in a particular localization model. or out-sourced to a localization vendor. 2 The North American version already contained a few improvements added to the original edition. the main appeal of the International version lies in its foreign feel for the Japanese players who enjoy gameplay as part of global culture thanks to the use of English dialogs.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Minako O’Hagan whether or not the process is undertaken in-house by the publisher or developer of the game. Although these new features provide added value for players. (ii) the role of “foreign text” to contribute to the “look and feel” of the localized product. Given the structure of games being multi-faceted with text strings arranged in a non-linear fashion. is the so-called “International” or “Final Mix” which is released exclusively for the Japanese market. but in the above case. which. 1 Subtitles are the cinema convention for foreign films in Japan and accordingly Japanese game players are used to reading subtitles. the term specifically means a hybrid version produced based on the North American version of the original Japanese. FFX-2 International also provides an interesting case study regarding types of changes made from the original version. and (iii) the flexibility of digital technology to change not only text but images in a new version (this last aspect is dealt with under the section "Translation Issues"). and. It sounds extremely convoluted. In this version. in the sim-ship model translation could easily go wrong if a clear context is not provided And yet. Working in this mode often does not allow the translator to see the game in its complete form and contrasts with the non sim-ship model where the translator has a chance to familiarize himself/herself with the game via walkthroughs etc. instead of using the original Japanese script. in turn. the translator more often than not is expected to work without the context in which each text string is to be placed This is likened to translating blindfolded and calls for a specific translator competence: familiarity with the game domain in general so as to fill in the gaps and also the ability to ask the right questions in search for context (Ballista private communication 2005). For the games In the International version. The term “international versions” commonly refers to localized versions. However. are also passed on to the International version. It also depends on whether it is sim-shipped Simultaneous shipment known as “sim-ship” entails producing localized versions at the same time as the original version and is a well-established practice in the software localization sector. making it difficult to play without the knowledge of Japanese. the Final Fantasy X International released in 2002 with no new added gameplay features still sold 260. The sim-ship model has a particular implication for the translator who must work with unstable source content which is still under development. It is apparent that the Japanese market supports3 the production of such a version in which the Japanese players seem to enjoy the different feel of play. this model is commonly used for game titles produced in Europe in English whereas Japanese game publishers/developers tend to use the model where the release of localized versions lags behind that of the original.

4 Translation issues This section discusses a number of translation issues that arise from particular localization models applied to the games domain. This in turn can be linked to the localizer’s lack of attention to the original gameplay experience. For example. 80 . game localization specifically seeks the game experience of the original version to be conveyed How is this achieved? In order to further pursue this question. being at once familiar and foreign to the target players. in a scene in FFX the last words spoken by the main character Yuna to her lover Tidus was translated into English as “I love you. Using the dubbed version as the source text sometimes creates an issue due to the liberty already taken in dubbing as this could be mirrored uncritically into the subtitled versions. Unsuccessful localization may produce games that feel lackluster with players preferring to go to the original game despite the apparent difficulty in understanding the language (Chandler 2005)." in the North American version from the original Japanese phrase “ (arigato) [thank you]” (Mangiron ibid). in-game dialogs in Final Fantasy X (FFX) and Final Fantasy X-2 (FFX-2) were only dubbed into English and this.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Minako O’Hagan The two localization models highlight the characteristic of the localization paradigm which seeks the equivalent relationship with a comparable local product to retain its “look and feel” (Fry 2003). the next section homes in on the translation issues associated with the localization models. In this model the overall gameplay experience of the original seems not only to be retained but enhanced with the incorporation of the additional global touch. In this model the simultaneous availability of the localized versions side by side with the original could further give the illusion of a localized version being the original rather than its translation. This decision in the American version subsequently caused a reaction among some fans who considered it out of character for Yuna who had been portrayed as rather reticent. This suggests the need for translation strategies for Japanese games to take into consideration what to domesticate and what to foreignize and yet such attempts may be undermined by the use of the pivot language version from which translators have to work. in turn. the lack of context is often filled in by the translator’s domain knowledge on video games in general. Although this model is not representative of game localization on the whole. The first example is where the English version is used as a pivot for localizing Japanese games into European versions. the European translators had no option but to work from the American rendition since it is the American dubbed version which the players will hear in the European versions of the game (Mangiron ibid). With the sim-ship model. As such it somewhat diffuses the power of the source text by replacing it with the translator’s gut feeling of what a game should look like. Due to the cost implications. While the problem of using a pivot language is not a new one with some Japanese RPG titles in particular part of their appeal lies in their perceived foreignness to the rest of the world. But this is only when localization is carried out successfully. However. Games such as the FF series seem to have succeeded in keeping their delicate balance. it provides insight towards establishing a widely applicable game localization model. The Japanese market specific International version demonstrates the importance of the “look and feel” of the game as part of a global product while keeping “localness” by creating a hybrid version. While the general localization principle places an emphasis on the localized version blending in with locally produced equivalent products. served as the basis for subtitles into other European languages (Mangiron 2004).

in one scene of the American version of FFX-2 the translator had invented the name “Dullwings” in a play on words for the name of the group called “Gullwings”. In one scene in FFX-2 International the image of one character’s nodding gesture in the original Japanese was replaced by that of a head shaking gesture to follow the English convention when giving the “no” answer to the negative question: “Aren’t you gonna return it? (Square Enix 2004). the response is “yes” accompanied by a nodding gesture. their Japanese subtitles were newly created to match the voice in English. if the answer affirms the question. For example. for the North American version of FF X-2 the theme song “1000 (Sen no Kotoba)” [One Thousand Words] underwent a transformation. resulting in a similar play on words as in (bakame-dan) [Dullwings] from (kamome-dan) [Gullwings]. In Japanese.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Minako O’Hagan Other translation issues to highlight the unique dimensions of game localization can be drawn from FFX-2 International. One example relates to a gesture tied to a linguistic feature of the Japanese language. This example contrasts with the screen translation norm for cinema where text is always subordinate to image which is primarily regarded as set in stone.Jade Version ‘Cause a thousand words Call out through the ages They'll fly to you Even though we can't see I know they are reaching you. this term “Dullwings” made its way into the Japanese subtitles for the International version. with the version sung by Koda. For example. The translation of lyrics sometimes involves considerable adaptation particularly when sung in a new language version. on the right: 1000 Words Lyrics . However. The game domain has its unique features drawn from other genres such as Anime and Manga. Similar in particular to Anime. The left-hand side shows the final release version by Jade.Koda Version Those thousand words Have never been spoken So far away I'm sending them to you where ever you are Suspended on shiny wings Those thousand words Have never been spoken They cradle you Make you no longer dare seem so far away And hold you forever 81 . The resultant Japanese subtitles reflected the freedom taken in the translation of the North American version. suspended on silver wings Oh a thousand words One thousand embraces Will cradle you Making all of your weary days seem far away They'll hold you forever 1000 Words Lyrics . The following extract shows parts of the lyrics to illustrate the differences between the two versions. This addition in the translation was to further contextualize the adversarial relationship between two opposition groups and to add a touch of humor (Mangiron and O’Hagan 2005). soundtracks constitute a very important element in a game as part of its "look and feel” and they are often dubbed or subtitled. answers to negative questions are given in the opposite way to that in English. Other manipulations manifested in the International version concern nonverbal communication cues. The change made was an apparent attempt to match the English dialog. this version did not make the final North American release and an entirely new version was used sung by the American singer Jade. One English version with the lyrics in a fairly close translation to the original was sung by Kumi Koda who had also sung the original Japanese soundtrack. Because the International version has dialogues in English based on the North American version. Interestingly. as shown by the character’s gesture in the original FFX-2. the existence of different localization models further complicates the task of translation. on the one hand. This example serves to demonstrate the flexible rules applied to games where. which may lead to the development of a useful framework of analysis of this new domain. 4 see Those thousand words Have never been spoken Lalalala I’m sending them to you where ever you are Suspended on shiny wings Those thousand words Have never been spoken Lalalala Making all of that years feel like lonely days Lalalalaaa In this example. the Japanese subtitles which appear with the above song are the original Japanese lyrics.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Minako O’Hagan Oh a thousand words (a thousand words) Have never been spoken (ohh yeah) They'll fly to you They'll carry you home. an extreme form of explicitation where the refrain "la la la. The following section explores a number of potential research areas for translation studies scholars." from the original Japanese lyrics is replaced with new words is made among many changes.ffx2.php/t5339. more systematic and granular analysis of translation strategies is called for as a basis for a new framework which effectively incorporates all game-specific dimensions.ffx2. The extent of the discussions which take place in various fan websites4 on these different versions of songs indicates the significance of the songs in games and also the respect to the original versions. (carry you home) and into my arms Suspended on silver wings (on silver wings!) And a thousand words (ohh) Call out through the ages (call through the ages!) They'll cradle you (ohh yeah) Make all of the lonely years to lonely days (lonely days) They'll hold you forever. discounting the changes made in translation. The following list suggests possible areas of investigation based on prior studies in which I was involved (Mangiron and O’Hagan 2005.. By focusing on Japanese video games this section highlighted the multidimensional translation issues combining some new and some known norms which are faced by translators involved in game localization. O'Hagan and Mangiron 2004a. 2004b). Translation strategies for video games could be explained from the functionalist point of view with the game’s goal of retaining the original gameplay experience in a new version. Nevertheless. source: http://www. http://www. To this extensive adaptation takes place to make the text sound natural in the target language while at the same time the original version is used as subtitles. but rather exploratory.html 82 . not reflecting the freedom taken in the English translation. 5 Research issues There is currently a clear paucity of games research from the translation studies perspective (O’Hagan forthcoming). The list is not intended to be either comprehensive or systematic. Nevertheless.

this structure can be likened to a hypertext arrangement where text is elastic and can be seen as a feature of new digital text whose context is rather fluid compared with conventional text. it is a factor in localizing certain Japanese games. Furthermore. plus country-specific age rating and censorship requirements make the international design of games a complex but worthwhile topic to pursue. the analysis of games is considered incomplete if it is viewed only from a narrative perspective.1 Digital textology and ludology perspectives Games text is non-linear and may appear in different parts of the game from different levels or as side games. This includes comments on the quality of translation and localization. and such feedback can sometimes have significant commercial influence. Translations are affected by such an uneven structure particularly when the translator is required to work without actually seeing the game. the Japanese players in turn deliberately seek a global touch through playing a version which is partly in English. "thank you" as the lover's last word may be more in keeping with the Japanese character showing a particular cultural trait. Nevertheless. the developer and the publisher of Final Fantasy games. This is resulting in a more holistic approach. The study of digital text in the form of digital textology could lead to the systematic analysis of translation strategies for games in relation to the new dimensions of digital text. Similarly. as illustrated in one of the examples discussed above. truly international design is currently out of reach (O’Sullivan et al 2004). The ludology perspectives will also be beneficial for the study of game localization in eliciting what constitutes “gameplay experience” which the translator strives to recreate in a localized version. For example.g. Another aspect which can be studied in relation to games text is the question of image-text hierarchy in game localization. some Japanese games pose an interesting dilemma between the call for domestication (e. Square Enix.2 International game design This subject relates to the internationalization process in GILT practice. thus becoming an attraction point for the international audience). 5. as evident in the rationale behind the International version. 5. decided to undertake localization in-house based on the negative feedback received from some fans on its first localized effort with FFVII which had been produced using the outsourcing model (Mangiron private communication 2004). the feedback from fans on newly released games is almost immediately broadcast on a worldwide basis.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Minako O’Hagan 5. These considerations. involving both narratology and ludology dimensions (Newman 2004. such as mini-games which are a digression in relation to the main storyline. Wolf and Perron 2003). The 83 . game localization allows an image to be modified to match the text.3 Fandom The extent of the potential impact of fans is a prominent factor shared between video games and such genres as Anime and Manga. In the advent of the Internet. Consideration of the optimum factors in determining changes between text and image could provide an interesting area of study. Unlike screen translation subtitle norms where text is always subordinate to image. adjustment of the source culture-specific nonverbal cue with the shaking head to match the “no” answer in the English convention) and at the same time the need to retain the original feel by deliberately foreignizing it (e. as generally agreed among games researchers today.g. Given the fact that the Japanese RPG genre has established itself internationally almost because of its Japanese appeal (Thomson 1999). In particular. While some technical aspects of the internationalization process are well explored and can be standardized to some extent.

thus not rendering well into CAT applications (Darolle 2004). however. subject to frequent changes (e. 84 . stressing the need for an interdisciplinary approach.g. abilities. a large number of games are serialized with the persistent use of certain key terminology such as names of weapons. For example. Given the ever squeezed production schedule and the increasing amount of translation needed for DVD audiovisual materials. items etc. These areas of fan activities could make a significant impact on professional translation and yet they are little discussed in published academic papers. given the size of the games market and its projected future growth in the global market (Entertainment Software Association 2005). an earlier study (O’Hagan 2003a) found a surprisingly positive result in applying Machine Translation to reduce translation errors in human translations in the case where subtitles need to be produced within an extremely short time-frame.4 Applicability of CAT tools Computer-aided translation (CAT) tools such as Translation Memory (TM ) are widespread in GILT practices.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Minako O’Hagan extent of the intensity of fan activities is also reflected in the phenomenon known as fan-subs where fans produce their own subtitles for Anime films for free distribution (Nornes 1999. reflecting the nature of the content being in electronic form. Implicit in this was an attempt to introduce the little explored area of video games research to translation studies. but can also be commercially significant. spells. The same applies to some game titles for which fans take on the task of creating their own translations. 6 Conclusion and further work This article has focused on video game localization as an example of emerging GILT practices in an effort to highlight the new translation dimensions which are evolving. such tools are not commonly used in game localization (O’Hagan and Mangiron 2004b). O’Hagan 2003b). The trend of fan-based subtitles and translation have become well known lately also with the unprecedented publication success of the Harry Potter series of books where underground translations were made available by impatient fans who could hardly wait for the official translations (Schaffner 2004). Interestingly. A similar argument appears to be applied to subtitles in screen translation. And yet. Games research as an independent discipline is starting to gather momentum. Linkages were drawn to comparable areas of software localization and audiovisual translation. The absence seems to be based on the claim that the type of translation involved in games requires extensive adaptation and creativity. sim-ship) and subject to a certain amount of repetitiveness. Empirical work in applying some CAT tools to games text will provide useful data in determining the areas of shortcomings and advantages of the current tools as well as identifying the need for a game-specific CAT tool. with recurring pet phrases in some titles. 5. Translation studies perspectives will not only contribute to shedding new light onto this complex and somewhat controversial domain. Empirical studies to investigate if and to what extent CAT can be applied and in what manner will be beneficial. thus providing a worthy subject. Table 1 summarizes the localization domain discussed above and also indicates the area of further work with audiovisual translation for films on DVD. technology-based solutions to translation will merit exploration.

flexible image-text hierarchy. nonlinear text structure semi-interactive and explorative with bonus materials. While this approach is perceived as new to screen translators. synchronized in multiple languages. the shrinking time lag between the cinema release and that of the DVD may lead to something similar to the sim-ship model where DVD and cinema releases of films coincide. In the time to come. in turn. functionality as paramount Product Computer software internationalization. The reason for the diminishing time-frame also relates to the need to counter DVD film piracy by way of rapid turn-around of DVD releases. terminology) technologydriven. subordination of text to image. imposed terminology and translation from TM. style guide. may lead to the use of CAT which is little implemented in the screen translation paradigm as 5 In the international media translation conference In So Many Words: Language Transfer on Screen held at London University in February 2003. fixed time code Table 1: Emerging Links: Software Localization. At the same time DVD publishers argue that there is no other viable way to produce multilingual subtitles within the limited time-frame and the budget5. interactive. a template-based approach like this is all too familiar to software localizers. gameplay as paramount with functionality. localization kit (TM terminology) limited string length. 85 .MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Minako O’Hagan Mode of language transfer localization (technical translation) Pre-process for translation Translation constraints Nature of medium and content technologydriven. linear text structure for film content Films and DVDs localization (screen translation) genesis file (fixed time codes across languages) limited number of words. This file contains the source language subtitles against which all other language versions of subtitles are to be added with one fixed set of time codes. some interactivity. Game Localization and DVD Localization In this table. A recently introduced methodology for achieving DVD subtitling in multilingual versions is the use of a so-called “genesis file” which constitutes a templatebased approach imposing a certain degree of standardization. the conflicts were clearly expressed between the conventional approach with which the screen translators are familiar and the new way of subtitling mainly driven by the production and market requirements for DVDs. the language transfer mode involved in films on DVD is treated as a localization practice. focusing on the change in the nature of the audiovisual content once it is put on DVD. spatial exploration. This. unstable source with simship limited string length. Screen translators dispute the merit of this approach as they consider it as detrimental to the quality of subtitles. limitedcontext with simship Video games localization (elements of screen translation) internationalization. localization kit (walkthroughs.

(8 November. audiovisual translation is ideally positioned to be extended to the next stage of practical and conceptual developments. M. 2005) In March at Binari Sonori in Milan. 1. London: Aslib. 1.lisa. Howland. Available from http://www. the pursuit of interactivity for DVD content is bringing the nature of the materials on DVD closer to video games. Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason).g. (1999) ‘For an abusive translation – Subtitles of Motion Pictures’. Available from http://www. New York and London: Routledge. (2003a) ‘Can language technology respond to the subtitler’s dilemma’.com/p/articles/mi_m1070/is_3_52/ai_54731368 [last checked June 2005] O’Hagan. M. April) Localising Final Fantasy – Bringing Fantasy to Reality LISA Newsletter. 2nd ed Revised by Arle Lommel. 86 . in LISA Newsletter. Massachusetts: Charles River Media.htm [last checked 31 July. London and New York: Rough Guides. A. 2005] Frasca. C. ----.( in Translating and the Computer 25. Chandler. (2003) The Localization Primer. Berens. M. in Time magazine. (2001) Rethinking Agency and Immersion: Video Games as a Means of Consciousness-Raising Essay presented at SIGGRAPH 2001 available at: http://siggraph.theesa. 7 References Ballista. interactivity is beginning to be incorporated via UI similar to software and video game menu systems and also by adding elements of “games” which are currently being introduced albeit in a crude manner (e.5. Darolle. Spain. L. While screen translation and localization had not been directly linked before. G. a close association is developing in the advent of DVD. XIII. Nornes. spring 1999. G.3 Entertainment Software Association (2005) Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry. (2005) The Handbook of Game Localization. G. Also.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Minako O’Hagan mentioned earlier. The game concept of hidden surprises known as “Easter Eggs” is sometimes also being incorporated into DVD bonus materials which the viewer can discover by selecting an object in a scene. In this way. D.3 [last checked May 2005] Grossman. However. (2001) The Rough Guide to Videogaming 2002. (1998) Game Design: The essence of computer games Available from http://www. XIII. and Howard.and O’Hagan. in Film Quarterly. (private communication. Newman. (2004. (2005) Unleashing imagination with ‘restricted’ translation A paper given at the International conference Media for All in June 6-8 in Barcelona. K. Italy. J. (2004. 2005] Mangiron. Available from http://www. Multidimensionality observed with the new and upcoming GILT practices of video games localization can further be linked to DVD localization where audiovisual translation and localization come together. An element of spatial exploration as common in video games is being introduced as part of interactivity to some DVD film titles (Smith 2005). in LISA Newsletter Global Insider. K. 2004) ‘The Art of the Virtual’. 3. March) ‘Middle Earth Poses Challenges to Japanese Subtitling’.lupinegames.html [last checked July 2005] Fry. (2004) Videogames.php [last checked 31 July. September) ‘Challenges in Videogames Localization’. The current generation of DVD audiovisual content has not yet maximized the technical capability afforded by this

J. 1. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Germany. 1. in International Journal of Localization. pp. (eds).and Mangiron.. in the International Journal of Localization. The Video Game Theory Reader. 23 April 2005. 15-22.a NonEnglish Perspective’. 2004. and Galligan. Denner..and Mangiron. C.57-62.(2004) ‘Conceptualizing the future of translation with localization’. in Macia. Square Enix (2004) Final Fantasy X-2 International + Last Mission Ultimania. New York: Arcade Publishing. -----. University of Limerick. Limerick. Translation Research and Interpreting Research. B. Fresh Pulp: Dispatches from the Japanese pop culture front (1997-1999). Smith. in Schaffner (ed). C. -----. Thompson. pp.(eds).MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Minako O’Hagan ----. Translating Today. P. P. N. (2005) A paper given at International Seminar on DVDs held at the University of Warwick.G. Poole. C. Y. New York and London: Routledge. In the Proceedings of New Zealand Game Developers Conference Fuse 2004. (2000) Trigger Happy: Videogames and the Entertainment Revolution. Dunedin: University of Otago. 41-70. S. Oniji. O’Sullivan. Berlin.1-24. (2004) ‘A Global Software Development . Inc. pp. 3-5 November. ----. San Francisco: Viz Communications. and Roman. B. Wolf. MJP and Perron. (2004a) ‘Game localization: When “Arigato” gets lost in translation’. MJP and Perron. A. J. Limerick.(forthcoming) From translating text to translating experience: video games as a new domain for translation and research.hard. Tokyo: Square Enix. University of Limerick. A paper given at the International Conference on Languages and the Media. (2004b) Video Games Localisation and GILT: Localisation meets screen translation. (2004) ‘Researching Translation and Interpreting’. (2003) Introduction.1. Schaffner.copy’. (1999) ‘j-pop.1. 87 .

EU-High-Level Scientific Conference Series MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Helmut Diekmann (Helsinki) Strategies for Translating from Finnish into German and vice versa Contents 1 2 3 4 5 Introduction Characteristic features of the Finnish language The influence of these specific features of Finnish in translating Differences in language conventions and culture References Abstract This article is a summary of some experiences from my daily work as a translator. into German. In its grammatical structures the Finnish language is quite different for instance from the Germanic languages. When translating from Finnish into German or English or vice versa one has to take these characteristic features into account. because this would be resulting in a meaningless sentence Hän rakastaa häntä. A translator working with this language pair is confronted with several structural and cultural problems which are discussed in the following article. When translating juridical texts from Finnish into an Indo-European language for instance you will be sometimes confronted with a special problem: the original text is referring to a person in a way that his or her sex cannot be inferred. The use of nouns is only one example of a problem which occurs when translating from Finnish into an Indo-European language. but she doesn’t love him”. an Indo-European language. a non-Indo-European language. Finnish has a polite form of addressing people like the German pronoun “Sie”. Of course there are means of disambiguation which can be used in such situations. Hotel guests and bank customers are addressed by the personal © Copyright 2005-2007 by MuTra 88 . In Finnish. Also choosing the appropriate article may cause problems. there is no grammatical gender and the third person singular pronoun hän corresponds to both he and she. There are only few prepositions and there is no definite or indefinite article. require the translator to choose different strategies from just using the simple personal pronouns. Finnish is a synthetic and agglutinative language: it uses suffixes to express grammatical relations and also to derive new words. and sometimes also vice versa. whose job it is to translate mainly from Finnish. 1 Introduction Finnish is one of the very few languages in Europe which do not belong to the family of IndoEuropean languages. However. mutta hän ei rakasta häntä. Beside of such structural problems which are caused by the structure of the language there are culture-specific features which have to be taken into account. When subtitling movies or TV-series from English – these are not dubbed –sentences like “he loves her. the translator has to choose equivalents in the target language which are either masculine ore feminine. but in today’s communication it has become rather obsolete.

Finnish has an abundance of cases that tend to baffle foreigners.000 different ways if one takes nominal derivatives from verbs also into account. For instance: talo (stem) = ‘house’.g. Sámi (the language of the Lapps).) 89 . pronouns or articles. in other words: instead of grammatical “help words” like prepositions. Consequently. the Finnish language mainly uses suffixes. talossani (stem + -ssa + -ni = possessive suffix) = ‘in my house’. One more example with a verbal stem: heittää = ‘throw’ > heittelittepä (‘you did throw frequently!’) > heitt. which are connected to the stem of the word. which means that many morphemes have two forms: a strong one and a weak one. is by no means arbitrary. There are at least 15 cases and nearly each one of them has its own ending. On the other hand it must be admitted that within this group there are six local cases (like the ones mentioned above) to express mainly local relations. the position of the different phrases in the sentence is relatively free – compared for instance with English. the Finnish language does not need strict syntactic rules for combining words to sentences. For instance. Finland is a member of the European Union since 1995 and the recent accession of Estonia and Hungary (both Estonian and Hungarian languages are also non-Indo-European languages and are related to Finnish) will result in a considerable demand for people who are aware of the structural und culture-specific problems which can arouse in translating between these non-Indo-European and Indo-European languages. e. talossa (-ssa-ending = inessive case) = ‘in the house’. 2 Characteristic features of the Finnish language Finnish belongs to the family of Finno-Ugric languages. for which German or English or another Indo-European language would use prepositional constructions. kyvyllä (kyvy = weak stem + adessive ending -llä = ‘with the ability’. Finnish is a synthetic language with an agglutinative morphology. Hungarian. Because compound words may contain a lot of information. Technical instructions. taloistasi (stem talo + i = plural morpheme + -sta-ending = elative case + -si = possessive suffix of the second-person singular) = ‘out of your houses’.= strong stem + partitive ending -ä). in other words: there is a strict hierarchy between these endings. One example: kyky ‘ability’.(stem) + -hko (‘quite’) + -i (plural morpheme) + -lla (adessive case = ‘with/at something’) + -kin = ‘also’. The amount of different endings or derivative suffixes which can be combined with nominal or verbal stems is huge.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner using the colloquial pronoun sinä (du in German). nouns can be linked with approximately 2.: suuri = ‘big’ > suurehkoillakin (‘also with quite big ones’) = suure. One special feature of Finnish is the so-called consonant gradation. kykyä = case partitive (kyky.000 different forms. In advertisements published by Finnish companies you will rarely find sentences like “we can offer you…” which are considered to be obtrusive.(stem) + -el (kind of action: frequentative) + -i (past tense) + -tte (ending of the second-person plural) -pä (modal particle for strengthening the statement). In Europe members of this family are: Estonian. Like these related languages. Finns prefer to read advertisements written by using the third person forms (“The company XY offers its customers…”) or similar constructions. advertisements as well as help texts and commands in computer software mainly use the second person singular pronoun. One of the most typical features of the Finnish language is the possibility to produce thousands of different forms from a given root word by adding suffixes to it. The order in which these different endings are connected to the stem. On the other hand Finns consider it as correct to keep a distance to other people. The ending -kin (‘also’) for instance always stands at the very end of the word. Verbs can be conjugated and modified in about 10. depending for instance on the case.

For instance: opettaja ‘teacher’ (the verbal stem is opetta. they should be used moderately: normally not more than one clause equivalent per sentence. an elementary spirit of the air (derivated from the word ilma ‘air’ + -tar). But today these forms are considered old-fashioned or obsolete. The suffix -tar/tär is actually quite old. e. Instead of subordinate clauses Finnish often uses so-called clause equivalents: Tiedän. for instance Ilmatar. This Finnish sentence contains the morpheme combination keite + ttä + vä + n (the stem is from the verb keittää ‘to cook. because it is more regular. etc. an adjective. but due to the consonant gradation and the vowel harmony many morphemes can appear in two different forms. in names for female spirits. Consequently the possessive pronoun is identical for both genders (hänen = ‘his’ or ‘her’) as are the different case forms of the pronoun (hänet = accusative case. but a colleague told me the opposite was true:1 the computer programs for machine translation are specially designed for the parsing of complex morpheme chains. a clause equivalent which makes it possible to change a complex sentence consisting of a main clause and a subordinate clause into one main clause only. there is not only a huge number of different morphemes in the Finnish language which can be combined to one word. it appears in the Kalevala. Finnish nomina agentis (agents) are constructed by using the derivative suffix -ja/jä. Much more difficult for them are languages like English.= ‘teach’) or näyttelijä ‘actor/actress’ (the verbal stem is näyttele. the so-called “Binnen-I”. y.g. StudentInnen. These words are gender-neutral and can refer to both males and females. In this case Finnish may use compound words. 90 . where it is widely seen as a requirement of “political correctness” to always use both female and male forms: Studentinnen und Studenten respectively Student-/innen or sometimes also by using a capital I. Clause equivalents are thus an important means. One of the most astonishing features of the Finnish language – from the viewpoint of a foreigner – is the complete lack of grammatical gender. Finnish also still needs to express gender. Thus the Finnish language doesn’t face such problems as the German language. In some situations. By the same rule the ending of the case adessive has either take the form -lla (as in the example suurehkoillakin) or -llä (as in the word kyvyllä). where one word (for instance can or like) may be a noun. not just Finnish. a verb. u) or they may be -ssä respectively stä (after vowels like e.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner One more interesting feature in Finnish is the vowel harmony. According to this phenomenon. information given per e-mail on September 16th 2005. – Kimmo Koskenniemi from the Department of General Linguistics (University of Helsinki) developed in his PhD (see References) a two-level morphology parser that has now been used on many languages. For instance at the end of every year Finns choose the sportsman and the sportswoman of the year. ö). o.= ‘to act’). Finnish has only one pronoun hän for the third-person singular (for ‘he’ or ‘she’). näyttelijätär ‘actress’. että siellä keitetään viinaa > Tiedän siellä keitettävän viinaa = ‘I know that the people there are distilling booze’. of making the sentence more economical and they can help to avoid long and complex sentences. I would have thought that this feature would make Finnish a very difficult language for machine translation.). In former times efforts were made to introduce a derivative suffix (-tar/tär) into Finnish – probably under the influence of nearby Indo-European languages like Swedish or German – to construct female names of professions: opettaja > opettajatar ‘teacher (fem. Consequently.)’. Finnish is easier than English. i. and there are already excellent parsers available. On the other hand. The morphological complexity problem has been solved. in which the first component expresses the sex: miesurheilija 1 Andrew Chesterman. the endings of the cases inessive or elative may be -ssa respectively -sta (if the stem contains vowels like a. which can refer to both a male and a female person. for instance. the national epic of the Finns. häntä = partitive case. ‘him’ or ‘her’ etc. ä. distil’).

But if you ask an eighteen-year-old whether he has a girlfriend or not. a student of mine. (22–23) The Finnish sentence is patterned exactly like the German one. W. mies = ‘man’) and naisurheilija ‘sportswoman’ (translated into German word-by-word: ‘Frausportler’.Haydn. one should use the compound tyttöystävä (made up from the components tyttö ‘girl’ and ystävä ‘friend’ just like the English girlfriend). die er selbst hochschätzte. For instance the numeral yksi ‘one’ > yks mies = ‘a man (informal style)’ or the pronoun se (which in noncolloquial speech refers only to animals and objects.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner ‘sportsman’ (translated into German word-by-word: ‘Mannsportler’. mutta tällaisia henkilöitä oli todella vähän. one may use clause equivalents to reduce the number of subordinate clauses. (19) TT: Suurimmassa arvossa hän piti niiden ylistystä. and this creates the need to make the distinction between a pappi ‘priest (normally a man)’ and a naispappi‚‘female priest’. 3 The influence of these specific features of Finnish in translating Which implications do the above-mentioned specific features have on the translation process? Let me first say something about translations of literature from German into Finnish. G. der einzige Zeitgenosse. When comparing the original (the source text ST) with the translation (the target text TT) my student discovered that the original syntactical structures had nearly always been transformed into very similar Finnish structures. 91 . colloquial Finnish has developed different ways of using some words like articles. This book was translated into Finnish by Seppo Heikinheimo and his wife Päivi (Seppo Heikinheimo was a quite famous music critic). ainoa aikalainen. aber das waren wahrhaftig nicht viele. which is generally regarded as untranslatable. Let me mention one more specific feature of the Finnish language: Finnish normally has no articles. One short example: ST: Den größten Wert legte er auf das Lob jener. at the very end of the sentence: “.. The normal word for ‘friend’ in Finnish is ystävä and it can refer to a girl or a boy. ainoa Mozartin ihailema aikalainen” (‘Haydn. Thomas Warburton successfully translated Alastalon salissa into Swedish.. a woman or a man. It would have been easily possible to replace at least one subordinate clause by a clause equivalent. jota hän ihaili. nainen [stem naise-] = ‘woman’). joita hän itse arvosti. The category of definiteness and indefiniteness may be expressed by using the cases nominative or partitive (with the subject) respectively accusative or partitive (with the object). In Finnish literature. During the past decades. but not to persons) > se mies = ‘that man (informal style)’. long and complicated sentences are not very typical. One example is Thomas Mann. den Mozart bewunderte. I can recall only one Finnish author. for instance. who had an inclination to construct very long sentences: Volter Kilpi and his opus magnum Alastalon salissa. Sebald. genau genommen war es nur Haydn. examined the Finnish translation of the biography Mozart. The German history of literature knows many authors who love to construct very long and complex sentences. The very conservative wing of the Lutheran Church in Finland still refuses to accept women as priests. from the more contemporary literature.) When translating a German novel containing many complex sentences into Finnish. Or the other way around (if you are going to ask a girl) the crucial word would be poikaystävä (poika = ‘boy’) like the English boyfriend. Many Finnish translators actually use this strategy. the only contemporary Mozart admired’). tarkkaan ottaen vain Haydn. Both sentences contain five commas within quite a short sequence. which was written by the German author Wolfgang Hildesheimer. (However. The average number of words per sentence in his huge novel Doctor Faustus (in the original version) is 31! Other examples are Hermann Broch and Robert Musil or. Some time ago Tero Vilkesalo.

because their mother tongue does not provide them with a profound understanding of an article system. It may be possible. I could imagine another explanation. of course. but it may be difficult for him/her to take the position of the reader. I have no problems in translating Finnish sentences into German and using the appropriate articles in the right places. One could believe that professional translators who are trained to translate literature from German or English are quite familiar with these strategies. which also has only one pronoun for the third-person singular). As a native speaker of German. But for my Finnish students. the complete lack of a gender system in Finnish causes quite a lot of problems in translating. The fact that there are virtually no articles in Finnish normally does not cause unnecessary problems for the translator. In other words. is amplified under the subjective eyes of the latter when scrutinized closely. my student was of the opinion that the translators aimed at preserving the syntactic structures of the source text in loyalty to the author – but at the cost of Finnish sentences becoming relatively long and not very reader-friendly. I would tend to explain such false steps by a fact which is mentioned by Hans G. Sometimes the translator may use also demonstrative pronouns to clarify the reference. On the other hand. If the sentences contain too many of these uniform hän pronouns. that they translated the German sentences quite mechanically and thus transferred the German constructions straight into the Finnish translation. since Finnish has got only one word for he and she (hän) and the result of a word-by-wordtranslation would be meaningless: “Hän rakastaa häntä. Naturally the translator gets an overall view of the relationships between the characters in the novel. but she doesn’t love him” cannot be translated into Finnish just by using the corresponding pronouns. mutta hän ei rakasta häntä”. Seppo Heikinheimo and his wife may be called semi-professional translators.e. (In her presentation at the MuTra 2005 conference in Saarbrücken. But from time to time critical reviews of translated literature in Finland point out that the excessive use of the pronoun hän may confuse the reader: “Which person is the narrator talking about right now?” The translator has fallen into the “trap of the third-person singular pronoun”. To give a very simple example: A sentence like “He loves her. Hönig (1997: 55): A text which is taken out of the realms of real communication and is projected into the reality of the translator. This depronominalization can be regarded as a type of explicitation of the referent – or as a change 92 .MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner Vilkesalo had examined the Finnish translation under the aspect of foreignizing – of allowing the features of the source language to influence the language of the target text – in the sense of how it was described by the German Romantic philosopher and translator Friedrich Schleiermacher i. For instance they may use the proper names of the persons in the novel (Mister Marcy or Miss Marble) or proforms like mies (‘the man’) and nainen (‘the woman’) or similar words which fit into the context. who looks at the text for the first time and normally catches only a short glimpse by glancing over the lines. : to “bend” the language of the translation as far possible towards that of the original. But this fact is. The above-mentioned strategy I would like to call depronominalization similar to the term “dépronominalisation” introduced by Michel Ballard (2004: 38). the use of the right article (definite/indefinite or the socalled null-article) in German sentences is quite a difficult matter. The fact that clause equivalents do not really occur in their translation could also be due to interference. Professor Kinga Klaudy from Budapest mentioned some examples from translations into Hungarian. In cases like this the translators could use different means of disambiguation. the reader will easily be disoriented. where personal pronouns like the German er ‘he’ and sie ‘she’ occur quite often. more a problem of language didactics rather than of translation (science). The translators of German or English novels must pay special attention to passages in the book.

Kun vaimo oli kuollut eikä hänen enää tarvinnut huolehtia tämän syömisestä. the friend [female form] had made a promise to his wife that the elegant clothes that she had owned would be worn by beautiful women. Hänen oli viettävä vaimon vaatteet pesulaan ja pestävä alusvaatteet. The French translator decided to replace the pronoun she by the Christian name of the person in question. b) Pari kuukautta sen jälkeen kun hän oli jäänyt eläkkeelle hänen vaimonsa kuoli. Vaimon paras ystävätär. c) Some months after he had retired his wife died. The strategy of explicication belongs to the latter ones. Mainly the pronoun was replaced by the noun vaimo (‘wife’) once by the noun potilas (‘patient’). because in the French sentence the close-by feminine word la barrière would otherwise disturb the reader. he had to take care of the funeral. and pragmatic strategies. oli huolehdittava hautajaisista. musste er sich um das Begräbnis kümmern. dass die edle Garderobe von schönen Frauen getragen würde. // TT: Entre onze heures midi. Vaimolla oli syöpä. and he had nursed the patient at home. 93 . että tämän tyylikkäät vaatteet päätyisivät kauniiden naisten ylle.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner of explicitness. Als sie tot war und er sich nicht mehr um ihr Essen. sie hatte seiner Frau versprochen. (In Finnish this situation would be different. nicht mehr zu operieren oder sonst zu behandeln. Ihre beste Freundin. and in one sentence the possessive pronoun (respectively ihre. Inhaberin eines Secondhandladens. und er hatte sie zu Hause gepflegt. jolla oli käytettyjen vaatteiden kauppa. kävi hakemassa laatikot. the bills and the insurances. Here an example from a novel of Thomas Hardy quoted by Ballard (2004: 38) ST: Between eleven and twelve the garden gate clicked. ihre Notdurft und ihren wundgelegenen Körper kümmern musste. I have emphasized the words with depronominalization in bold face type: a) Wenige Monate nach seiner Pensionierung starb seine Frau. ihren) was replaced by the demonstrative pronoun tämän. It can be seen that depronominalization of the German pronoun sie occurs in translation several times. ystävätär oli luvannut hänen vaimolleen. which have a fully developed system of grammatical gender. for instance when translating from English (a language with a vestigial natural gender system) into French or German. clean the shoes and pack them into boxes. muista tarpeista eikä laihtuneen ruumiin makuuhaavoista. His wife [literally: the wife] had cancer which could not be operated or treated. ihre Schuhe putzen und alles in Kartons packen. He had to bring his wife’s [literally: the wife’s] clothes to the laundry and wash the underwear. came to pick up the boxes. semantic. The the and ihr last 2 Chesterman makes a distinction between syntactic. hoidettava kengät ja pakattava kaikki laatikkoihin. see for instance Andrew Chesterman (1997: 108-109). for the other needs and for the bedsores on the thin body. His wife’s [literally: the wife’s] best friend [female form]. who owned a second-hand shop. and he had to make sure that the children got the part his wife [literally: the wife] had wanted to leave for them. um Rechnungen und Versicherungen und darum. was sie ihnen zugedacht hatte. Sie hatte Krebs. la barrière du jardin cliqueta et Rhonda leva les yeux vers la fenêtre. and in a literal translation of the Finnish text into English (c) by myself. dass die Kinder bekamen. ja hän oli hoitanut potilasta kotona. laskuista ja vakuutuksista ja katsottava että lapset saivat sen mitä vaimo oli halunnut heille jättää. which would be the normal equivalent for the she in the sentence above.) I would like to quote the beginning of the short story Der Andere by Bernhard Schlink (from the book Liebesfluchten) in the German original (a). in the Finnish translation by Oili Suominen (b). holte die Kartons ab. and she lifted her eyes to the window. When his wife [literally: the wife] was dead and he didn’t have care for her [literally: demonstrative pronoun] meals any longer. refers to persons only. jota ei enää voinut leikata eikä lääkitä. Er musste ihre Kleider reinigen lassen und ihre Wäsche waschen. because the pronoun hän.2 This strategy could also be applied – mutatis mutandis – when translating from one Indo-European language into another.

dass sie tot war. despite the intriguing use of the third-person reference. und dann fiel ihm ein.. but to a (female) friend of hers. wie ein Schlag” and “fiel ihm ein. the Finnish translation under (B) and the literal translation of the Finnish text into English under (C): A) Auch wenn es sich bei alledem um Verrichtungen handelte. hän oli vaimon sairastaessa kumminkin tottunut puuhailemaan hiljaisessa talossa. hänelle oli aivan tavanomainen olo. again the source text under (A). die Tür öffnen und könne sich auf ein Wort. This narrative technique is signalled by using expressions of inner movement (like “traf ihn das Bewusstsein . that several sie pronouns were replaced by vaimo (‘wife’) in this second passage the bilingual reader starts to feel a little bit uncomfortable. a secret lover. the narrative point of view is that of the male protagonist er (‘he’). ja sitten hän tajusi että vaimo oli kuollut eikä hän enää pystynyt jatkamaan vaan oli pakko lopettaa puhelu. Mutta samassa hän kuin iskuna vasten kasvoja tajusikin että vaimo oli kuollut. hän voisi istahtaa vaimonsa sängylle vaihtaakseen muutaman sanan. dass sie tot war. (This example with the word ystävätär shows that in this case the translator was forced to use the old-fashioned suffix -tar/tär for female persons – which was necessary. während aus ihrem Krankenzimmer kein Laut drang. fühlte sich normal. er müsse nur die Treppe hinaufsteigen. and then he realized that his wife [literally: the wife] was dead and he was not able to continue and he had to hang up. He leaned against the wall between the kitchen and the living room as he used to do. tell her or ask her something.. because if a short text passage contains a lot of pronouns like er and sie. In other words: the narrator is able to look inside the mind of his protagonist. The passage above is not a standard third-person narration but rather a piece of writing where. eine Frage zu ihr ans Bett setzen. The narrator uses a narrative technique called free indirect discourse (FID) which conveys a character’s thoughts as they are thought by the character himself but which.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner pronoun sie in the quotation above (source text a) doesn’t refer to the dead wife. und er konnte nicht weiterreden und musste auflegen. Together with the so-called inner monologue the free indirect discourse is 94 . Dann traf ihn das Bewusstsein. and the Finnish text uses the explicitation ystävätär (‘friend. and even now he still felt that if he just would rise up the steps and open the door he could sit down on the bed of his wife. When recognizing the fact.. im Haus geschäftig zu sein. kertoakseen tai kysäistäkseen jotakin. sprach über Normales. Er lehnte neben dem Telefon an der Wand zwischen Küche und Wohnzimmer. wenn er telefonierte. Oft ging es ihm auch so. because the widower soon finds out that his wife actually also had a male friend (Finnish ystävä). had a quite normal feeling. dass. einen kurzen Bericht. spoke about quite normal things.. nevertheless. female’). B) Vaikka kaikki nuo työt olivat hänelle outoja. dass er immer wieder das Gefühl hatte. die ihm ungewohnt waren. at least some of them have to be replaced by other words. C) Although all this work was strange to him. Hän nojasi tapansa mukaan seinään keittiön ja olohuoneen välissä. että kunhan hän vain kapuaisi portaat yläkertaan ja avaisi oven. wie ein Schlag. ganz normal. But in the same moment he realized like a blow into his face that his wife [literally: the wife] was dead.” / “he realized…” or “it came into his mind…”). The same happened sometimes when he was speaking on the phone. Samoin kävi joskus kun hän puhui puhelimessa. puhui aivan tavallisista asioista. The German original conveys the impression that we are hearing the inner voice of the character reflecting on his thoughts and feelings after the death of his wife.) Oili Suominen is a very experienced translator of German novels and her decisions have to be accepted. But let us read a little bit more from Schlink’s short story. change some words with her. he got used to be busy in the quiet house. ja nytkin hänestä aina välillä tuntui. war ihm doch so vertraut. maintains the third-person reference and also the past tense of narration.

I am grateful to my colleague Kristiina Taivalkoski-Shilov for directing my attention to this problem (as well as for the hint concerning Ballard).”).” (“The witness has confirmed in his statement that. The more adequate translation would have been “Die Zeugin hat in ihrer Aussage bestätigt.. for instance the system of personal deixis. The papers stated Todistaja vahvisti lausunnossaan... Anyone translating fictional texts into Finnish – texts with free indirect discourse combined with several different pronouns – will face this problem. It may also cause difficulties for translators of many other types of texts. This may be the case with exotic names. (‘Kimi’ referred to Kimi Räikkönen.3 Due to the replacement of the pronouns in the Finnish translation the point of view. Quite often Finnish source texts tell the reader something to about someone without giving any information on whether this person is male or female. My German version was “Der Zeuge hat in seiner Aussage bestätigt.”). Then I normally feel angry about the “strange Finnish language”. despite the translator’s competence and in spite of the technical conditions of work. The situation gets more complicated. Last spring I had to translate the headline Kimi on saanut uuden tiedottajan (‘Kimi has got a new PR manager’) into German. But not everyone is to be found on the Internet. A few weeks later I had to translate more documents about the same court proceedings. An image search in Google may be helpful.4 In this respect we are dealing with an objective translation problem according to the definition by Christiane Nord (1991: 151).” 3 Grammatically speaking the inner monologue corresponds to the direct discourse (example: He felt: “I have got it!”) while in the free indirect discourse the third-person form and the tense are preserved (“He felt that he had got it. – On a wider scale the problem of maintaining the narratological structure in translations. it is not so close any more... The sudden realization “sie ist tot” (‘she is dead’) seems to be closer to the real “thought act” of the character than the statement “his wife was dead”. was examined by Levenston and Sonnenschein (1886). and so on. She has studied this phenomenon in translations from English into French. Thus the more equivalent German translation was “Kimi hat eine neue PRManagerin”. the Finnish Formula One driver. the sight into the mind of the protagonist. as well as Ellen Valle (see References). if the Christian name of the person is not mentioned in the text or if it is abbreviated or not transparent in terms of biological sex.” Some time ago I had to translate documents for a trial in a Finnish court. in this case the free indirect discourse.. (The noun tiedottaja is a derivation from the verb tiedottaa ‘to inform’).. which allows speaking about someone without giving a clue to the reader whether it is a man or a woman. dass.. After a search on the Internet I found out that the manager’s name was Anna Sorainen. The lack of a gender system in Finnish is not only a source of problems for the translators of literature.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner an important means in modern literature which has the tendency to psychologize and to reflect the mental discourse of the characters. My wife’s standard answer in this situation is: “For us Finns this is not important! In Finland we are emancipated. että. and her article “FID and Translational Progress: Comparing 18th-century and Recent Versions of Henry Fielding’s Novels in French” will soon be published in a publication series of the University of Tampere. Sometimes I ask my Finnish wife for help (“Can you please tell me.) My “raw version” of this sentence was “Kimi hat einen neuen PR-Manager”. whether this person mentioned here is male or female?”) but in most cases I already know the answer (“Just on the basis of the text you cannot tell.” – The name of the witness was not mentioned). 95 . dass. and the text has moved towards standard narration. is modified to some degree. and there it became obvious that the witness was a woman. namely when translating from Finnish into another language. 4 Tarja Rouhiainen from the University of Turku has dealt with this problem. In Finnish translations the compulsory replacement of the pronouns leads inevitably to difficulties in transferring the narratological structure.

sokoshotels. So instead of one phone call.. I dare say that Finnish advertisement texts prefer to use more “impersonal” forms of address than for instance German. Most of the options and commands which occur on 5 I myself have not collected any statistical data about this. 96 . But in Finland the formal address (te) is nowadays restricted to quite formal situations. for instance when addressing the president of the state or very old persons. are nowadays nearly always addressed with the informal sinä (‘du’ in German).” They prefer to say it in a more reserved way: “The company ABC Inc. and in some way it would appear to be a paradox when considering the usual habit of the Finns to keep a certain social distance to other people. Thus customers of banks and hotels in Finland. for instance a journalist. Using “du” when “Sie” is appropriate would sound condescending or even insulting. the informal form sinä (‘du’ in German) would be used. would write an economic article about the company. in which she has compared Finnish and German advertising materials of banks and telecommunication companies. One strategy I use when translating Finnish advertisements into German is to add a little bit of “personal” touch to the text. In German directions for use. the staff there does not like their freelancers to contact their clients directly. The use of “personal” expressions like “we offer you” is easily considered to be obtrusive. it may be necessary to make several calls. noncolloquial German communication. I automatically replace the Finnish informal “sinä” forms by the German formal “Sie” forms.”. as if a third party. If on the other hand the customer is addressed directly in Finnish an!” But in the translation rendered for my customers.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner Sometimes the translator really must make a phone call to the institution or organization in question and ask whether the person mentioned in the text is a man or a woman. but my observation is confirmed by the results of the licentiate thesis of Erja Tenhonen-Lightfoot (1992).. the Finnish language uses mainly the imperative of the second-person singular. This is also the fact in modern computer technology and can be seen at a glance in Finnish computer journals and manuals. Moreover. as “Sie” is still “good style” in formal. Finnish directions for use consist of a type of text in which the informal address is nearly the one and only possible form. 4 Differences in language conventions and culture After 25 years of translating. Die Schrauben lockern und den Deckel abnehmen…” In contexts like this.. Thus Finnish companies do not use in their advertisements statements like “We offer you. As in German and in many other IndoEuropean languages (except English). In a brochure of the hotel chain Sokos Hotels one can read for instance: Tutustu hotellin tiloihin ja palveluihin osoitteessa www. This development may be a cultural influence from Sweden. Finnish also has both a formal “you” (‘Sie’ in German) and a familiar “you” (‘du’ in German).sokoshotels. But when working as a freelancer for a translation agency. because the Finnish source text would sound quite reserved and “dry” in the ears of their potential German customers. as well as potential car buyers and politicians taking part in talk shows on TV. assembly instructions and similar texts normally use the infinitives of the verbs: “Vor dem Öffnen des Geräts das Netzkabel ziehen. offers its customers.5 This observation corresponds with the general inclination of the Finns to keep some distance in their contacts with unknown! In a word-by-word-translation into German this would be: “Schaue dir die Zimmer und Leistungen des Hotels unter der Adresse www.

Hans G. Schlink. Publications. Chesterman.V. durchges.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner the screen of computers are imperative forms of the second-person singular – as they are in English. Lawrence’s Women in Love”. H. Wolfgang (1991): Mozart. Amsterdam & Atlanta: Ropodi. Wolfgang (1977): Mozart. Methodology. (1997): Konstruktives Übersetzen. Shoshana (eds) Interlingual and Intercultural Communication: Discourse and Cognition in Translation and Second Language Acquisition Studies. We tried to explain to the customer that these forms must be changed. Kimmo (1983): Two-level Morphology: A General Computational Model for Word-Form Recognition and Production. Geschichten. A. Hildesheimer. 2: Des signes au texte. E. Hönig. Hildesheimer. & Sonnenschein. Tübingen: Stauffenburg.: Suhrkamp. In House. 2. and Didactic Application of a Model for Translation-Oriented Text Analysis (Translated by Christiane Nord and Penelope Sparrow). Rouhiainen. Target 12(1): Amsterdam: John Benjamins B. Christiane (1991): Text Analysis in Translation. 49-59. but for me it felt even worse to realize that the overall image of the translator as a competent interlingual and intercultural mediator still needs to be improved. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Koskenniemi. The corresponding formal forms of address (actually imperative forms of the second person plural in Finnish) – Tallentakaa / Avaakaa / Sulkekaa – are not used in contexts like this. M. The spread of ideas in translation theory. Bernhard (2000): Liebesfluchten. Bernhard (2001): Neuvoton sukupolvi. Auflage. Frankfurt a. Zürich: Diogenes. Nord. 5 References Ballard. many texts were translated into Finnish by other translators (obviously they had been living in Germany for quite a while). Levenston. Andrew (1997) Memes of translation. 109-126. Finnish translation by Seppo and Päivi Heikinheimo. 3rd edition. Tarja (2000): “Free Indirect Discourse in the Translation into Finnish: The Case of D. Finnish translation by Oili Suominen. Juliane & Blum-Kulka. Gabriela (1986): “The Translation of Point-of-View in Fictional Narative”. Department of General Linguistics. Paris: Ophrys. When translating computer texts from German into Finnish or vice versa one must take this into account. and they had used all these odd-sounding formal forms like Tallentakaa etc. When we received the proofs we noticed that our translation was only a part of the whole job. but the outcome of our intervention was that two German managers of the company – without any knowledge of the Finnish language and its conventions – wanted us to change our informal forms in accordance with the rest of the text! We refused to do this and lost a customer. Schlink. Juva: Werner Söderström Osakeyhtiö. Michel (2004): Versus: La version réfléchie anglais-français Vol. the corresponding forms in Finnish and in English are imperatives in the second-person singular: Speichern / Save / Tallenna or Öffnen / Open / Avaa or Fenster schließen / Close window / Sulje ikkuna etc. Theory. While German uses infinitives. 97 . Keuruu: Otava. University of Helsinki. Tübingen: Narr. Some years ago my wife and I translated computer texts from German into Finnish for a medium-sized manufacturer of hardware and software whose European headquarters was situated in southern Germany.

MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner Tenhonen-Lightfoot. Turku: University of Turku. Jorma (eds) Translation and Knowledge / SSOTT IV. Yves & Tommola. 98 . University of Helsinki (unpublished). Tero (2005): „Die verwickelte Biographie. Valle. Verfremdung und Verständnisprobleme in der Übersetzung von Wolfgang Hildesheimers Mozart”. In Gambier. Vilkesalo. University of Vaasa (unpublished). Erja (1992): “Aspekte der Anrede am Beispiel von finnischen und deutschen Bankdienstleistungs. Ellen (1993): “Narratological and Pragmatic Aspects of the Translation into Finnish of Doris Lessing’s Four Gate City”. 245-261. Licentiate thesis presented to the Institute of Communication Sciences. Centre for Translation and Interpreting.und Telekommunikationsprospekten”.

a critical requirement since it has been set out in DIN 2345 – a standard for translation contracts (1998:12). To this end. where they have been written. to specialist or non-specialist audiences. there is evidence that measures for adapting them to text type conventions are sometimes taken. The two major issues addressed. caption. 1 General This paper deals with multifaceted dimensions of the translation process. i. linkage to verbal text). Sorvali (1996:113) is obviously assuming compliance with text type conventions when she claims that “a translation is not a second-hand text but an independent one which has the same properties as any other text written directly in the target language”...g. However. to the target culture’s conventions depends on where the texts have been translated. we can establish what is standard practice in the translation industry. Vermeer 1986:43. Information in Multilingual Translations Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 General Target cultural localization of figures in an engineering book Source cultural handling of figures in manuals for specialist addressees Source cultural handling of figures in manuals for non-expert addressees Conclusion References Abstract This paper deals with multifaceted dimensions of the translation process. © Copyright 2005-2007 by MuTra 99 . are: (a) the semiotic association of verbal and nonverbal parts of texts. My research endeavours in this field are a response to this call. when it comes to adapting figures to the target culture. analysis was carried.e. In principle. Regardless of the manufacturers’ nationality or field of business and of whether the texts are addressed. Kupsch-Losereit 1998:168). are: (a) the semiotic interrelationship of verbal and nonverbal text parts. in the source culture. as the mere reproduction of figures in all target texts. Findings are presented. The answer to the question as to whether or not figure features are adapted. and (b) parallel translations for different target cultures. By comparing source texts with their translations in various languages. in the translation of source texts (ST) (e. in a series of charts. current practice in user brochures of German and Japanese provenance can be characterized..EU-High-Level Scientific Conference Series MuTra2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Brigitte Horn-Helf (Münster) texts written for specialist and non-specialist audiences. both verbal and visual information is localized in accordance with translation theory. out on several aspects of figures (segmentation. and (b) parallel translations for different target cultures. we find that only inscriptions in figures are sometimes translated. type of figure. Translation theorists have long been calling for target culture text type conventions to be considered. if the texts are translated. When figures are translated. This is indeed. in the target culture. Koller 1992:247 f. The two major issues addressed.

points out that localization of ST figures is more or less impossible in practice for economic reasons.two corpora of German manuals for household appliances and consumer electronics. by Kussmaul. Tulin et al. 1987). however. both verbal and visual information (appearing as figures) is to be localized. For comparison purposes: . to the verbal part of the text. respectively (include 105 figures) with two or more translations. From his perspective as a translation teacher. Schmitt (1999:196). contrastive studies. For this reason we should encourage corpus-based. is to explore standard practice in the translation industry and to establish whether or not. 100 . 1 A special type of steelmaking process. 1. I have analyzed.. on the following text corpora. the theoretical requirement is not meant to be restricted.two corpora of manuals originating in the US or UK (including 310 figures – Horn-Helf 2004). the challenges of dealing with multiple linguacultures are accounted for. contrastive studies”. are carried. several aspects of figures in texts written for expert and non-expert addressees. Furthermore. [C] Two corpora of English manuals from Japanese manufacturers of office equipment and consumer electronics. text type conventions must be taken into account. Göpferich (1998:332) supports the request for localizing figures from the point of view of intercultural technical writing. This is primarily due to the lack of knowled. It would be very helpful if these conventions and the differences between conventions in the source and target language were known. In as far as data is given for original texts. The results of my investigations are of. In principle. including German language versions. To this end. some information of this kind can also be inferred. respectively (including 200 figures) contained. Horn-Helf 2004). however. and to what extent. elaboration of criteria for comprehensive analysis of figures’ functions and quality in relation to the verbal text has only just begun (Kalverkämper 1993.analysis data from two corpora of manuals originating in the US and UK (including 223 figures – Horn-Helf 2004). out to reveal text type conventions in at least a bicultural contrast. including English language versions. to suit target culture conventions. in multilingual brochures in up to 15 languages (Horn-Helf 2004). This can only be done by comparing STs with TTs in various languages. Kussmaul (1995:83) stresses the need. For comparison purposes: analysis data from . as mentioned.. and experience with. [B] Two corpora of German manuals for industrial machinery and measuring instruments.d. .MuTra2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Brigitte Horn-Helf House (1997:79) speaks of the “application of a cultural filter” with respect to phrasing the target text (TT). respectively (including 318 figures) contained. in a series of charts which are based. “Corpus-based. for research in this field: We have seen that for the proper functioning of a translation. bypassing the blast furnace. from the charts in the following sections. text type conventions. in multilingual brochures in up to 8 languages.1 Text corpora [A] Chapter of a German book manuscript on Direct Red. To date.uction1 (includes 29 figures) with English and Russian translations (Werner n. no proposals have been made as to how visualization practice would have to change were figures to be localized. The main intention of this paper. However.

or accompanied. next to them. texts in page format. at the margin for common illustrations. vs. considerable restraints may be imposed. Orders were placed.MuTra2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Brigitte Horn-Helf 1. either the verbal text has to be shortened. ST and TT are arranged. TL legends may also be set at the beginning of the different versions.. into the TT at the customer’s office. by a list of terms and phrases for inscription in figures. the ST presented.. Typically. Full versions are fully illustrated. engineering drawing. into each version separately. Illustration design for multilingual brochures depends on whether the figures are common to all versions or whether they are to be inserted. space restrictions impact on Russian TTs translated. Typically. To date. is inadequate for the target language (TL). To produce the TT the translator overwrites the ST and translates figure inscriptions as appropriate. On the whole. on the TT volume if the space provided. with TL inscriptions – a common technique found in British and American manuals. for translating the verbal text. at a multinational non-expert audience. These are partly illustrated.3 Text presentation and integration of figures Two forms of text presentation can be distinguished. in the TL. in parallel columns. the figures were then pasted. for translation was either fully illustrated. In such cases. texts in page format. In German brochures a folding sheet (“Ausklappseite” according to DIN EN 62079 2001:29) is frequently inserted.4 Handling figures when translating technical texts In the 1970s and 1980s. brochures for non-expert addressees may contain partial versions. In the case of columns. However. difficulties are encountered. etc.) Linkage of figures to verbal text (textual by references vs. within the different versions may also be provided. topical by shared. Some figures have neither legends nor inscriptions. a full version and the second is columns. By and large the only concession made to the target culture is that figures are inscribed. each TT contains the complete set of figures. This is especially true for texts addressed. uncaptioned. for this purpose. Differences in ST and TT volumes were rarely critical since figures could be arranged. and with common figures placed. topic). Since the ST layout is to be preserved. rather than localize them in the sense of adapting them to target culture conventions. in manual brochures for expert addressees: the first may be called. figure inscriptions) Captions (captioned. that the challenges of multilinguality have given rise to some changes in illustration design: preparing figures for multilingual texts aims to neutralize. a separate column is provided. Figures arranged. 101 . with common figures extending across the columns. from German or English STs. it may be said. 1. with some figures in each version. 1. with both these options when ST and TT are laid out in columns. fairly freely.2 Analysis Segmentation of figures (item marking/keys and legend vs.e.) Types of figures (photograph. customers began to furnish the illustrated. there has been no change to this traditional method of reproducing ST figures in every new TT. terms for inscription were to be provided. or the layout changed. In the 1990s. ST in electronic format. at the beginning or end of the brochure. If ST and TT are arranged. Apart from full versions and columns. Figures applicable to all versions have multilingual legends placed. Using a key and legend system is a typical German and Russian way of explaining items in a figure. on a separate piece of paper. i. The translator left blank space for the figures in the TT. schematic diagram. in parallel.

by kind permission of Dietrich Werner (LH illustration). Figure features were adapted. in size. to target culture conventions: the Russian translation of a manuscript for a German book on Direct Red.uction furnace given in Fig.1 A). I found only one case where figures were actually adapted. legend 2 We assume these illustrations originate from Midrex Corp. 1: Changing inscriptions to keys and legend3: Fig. The manuscript was translated. LH2). by item numbers used. 1a. 1 shows the two different conventions. however.uced. 1. 3 Reproduced. 102 .1 [A]). 1c: RH part. inscriptions were replaced. the gas red. in German and Russian technical writing to identify items of a figure. as keys and explained. (Charlotte. The illustration of the Midrex red. but they were also adapted.uction process dealt with in this chapter (cf. NC). The figures were localized. The original German manuscript as well as the English translation contain figures with English inscriptions (Fig. 1b+c. Figures most often carry inscriptions in British and American technical texts. who developed. to Russian conventions as follows: 2. in the target culture before the book was published.1 Segmentation of figures Keys and legend are typically used. 1.MuTra2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Brigitte Horn-Helf 2 Target cultural localization of figures in an engineering book In the course of my research. 1a: LH part. to suit common practice in Russian technical writing. This meant that not only were original full page figures red.uction (cf. in a legend (Fig. Fig 1b: RH part. In the Russian book. in Moscow. Fig. a b c Fig. RH)..

This measure is a further step towards localization of figures. 2. it is common Russian practice to omit photographs (as it was in the USSR era when it was prohibited. to take photographs of industrial installations.2 Types of figures All photographs and four engineering drawings were omitted. The German book chapter as well as the English TT include several figures of this kind (Fig. the translator changed. linkage is not textual. 3: Localization of linkage to verbal text 103 . the internal fittings were not to be revealed. German. one chart. was added. They are linked. in Russian technical texts. to the verbal text by the common topic only.3 Linkage to verbal text Reference is made to each figure at least once in Russian technical writing. Engineering drawings constitute one of the figure types clearly favored. To bring the Russian TT into line with conventions. chart schematic diagram engineering drwg photograph G ST E TT R TT Fig. perhaps. which is not part of the ST. but topical. 2. let alone publish them). 2 Localization of types of figures textual topical G ST E TT R TT Fig. By contrast. In this case. topical links to textual ones by adding the references missing in the German ST. This is what I call a textual link. in such detail. British and American texts often contain a large number of figures with no references to them at all. we can only speculate on the reason for their omittance. 3). These are sectional drawings of process equipment.MuTra2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Brigitte Horn-Helf 2. in the Russian TT. Therefore. These changes can be seen in Fig..

RH). uncaptioned captioned G ST M E/F/S TT US/UK M G ST I E/F/S TT US/UK I Fig. for identifying items in figures in English. in a brochure with several translations (Fig. where some of the figures typically remain uncaptioned. is inconsistent with text type conventions for American and British manuals. 1. preferences found in German STs are indicated. for example. In the light of these results. 104 . French and other TTs.. (Fig. these preferences are replicated. in British and American manuals. TTs which is demonstrated.2 Captions Examining manuals for German industrial machinery included.. As already mentioned.1 [B]). Within the groups. This is absolutely in line with standard practice as reflected. multilingual brochures for equipment exported. by detailed. in the middle. in English. all figures in manuals from German manufacturers of measuring instruments are captioned. but that the source culture text is the key for TT conventions. analysis). 3. The charts to follow consist of two parts: they show features found in manuals for industrial machinery (LH. copy. M) and for measuring instruments (RH. I). This seems to agree with French practice (but still has to be confirmed. in manuals of American and British origin are shown by the bar on the right. Preferences as reflected. 4. there is every reason to believe that. 4. from Germany are not written to suit their target cultures. in US and UK manuals from mechanical equipment manufacturers. LH). we find that less than half of the figures have captions. apart from verbal text translation. Since this feature is reproduced. French. in every translated. 4: Captions according to ST By contrast.MuTra2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Brigitte Horn-Helf 3 Source cultural handling of figures in manuals for specialist addressees In this section I wish to present the results of my analysis of manuals for expert addressees [cf.1 Segmentation of figures Keys and legends are applied. 3. by the bar to the left. the English TT. inscriptions are preferred. Spanish etc.

6). obtainable form Beuth Verlag GmbH. to this note: “The definitive version for the implementation of is standard is the ed. we find that the TTs are packed. top view (b) is located. Formerly known as ISO E (European) projection and currently named. firstangle projection is established. 5.ition bearing the most recent date of issue. 5). by kind permission of DIN Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V. into English. views are arranged. practice in Germany. chart schematic diagram exploded view engineering drwg sketch picture G ST M E/F/S US/UK TT M G ST I E/F/S US/UK TT I photograph Fig 5: Types of figures according to ST (preferences) Fig.e. method in many European countries” (EB 1981:974). British and especially American manuals for machinery contain numerous photographs (Fig. who requested. in manuals for measuring instruments from both these countries (Fig.3 Types of figures Standard practice in Germany favors the inclusion of engineering drawings in manuals for industrial machinery and measuring instruments (Fig.MuTra2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Brigitte Horn-Helf 3. Germany”. below. in dimensional drawings Hoischen (2003:55) points out that the most informative view has to be the front view in engineering drawings. Figure A. that the following be added. over into the TTs. 105 . With this method. opposite to their actual position (Fig. 10772 Berlin. convention mismatch. i. with engineering drawings – showing a pronounced. These engineering drawings are then carried. “First-angle projection is the commonly accepted.4 Projection methods used.1)4 4 Reproduced. schematic diagrams are preferred. projection method 1 (PM 1). bottom view (e) above the main view. When German STs are translated. LH). RH). 5. This is also known as the main view. 3. 6: First-angle projection (DIN ISO 128-30.

unaltered. Figure B. to ‘first-angle’ projection. therefore.ia: 3). projection method 3 (PM3).ia:3). “The term ‘third-angle’ is used. this is shown on the RH side of the main view. US engineers are said to prefer third-anglevi projection. As can be seen in Fig. However. by the kind permission of Leybold Vacuum GmbH. the location of the LH side view would have to be changed. in an English TT for readers in the US might be open to misinterpretation since “third-angle projections are the prevalent type used. formerly known as ISO A (American) projection. to be commented. this recommendation seems to be of a merely theoretical nature. compared. 8).1)6 5 6 Reproduced.MuTra2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Brigitte Horn-Helf Apart from the front or main view. through two right angles about the object” (Wikiped. the top view (b) is located. In this method. i. and nowadays called. Fig. 106 . 7: PM1 – LH slide view on RH side of main view5 Fig 8: Third-angle projection (DIN ISO 128-30. the LH side view (c) on its LH side (Fig. on. In order to adapt German dimensional drawings to US conventions. does not need. above the main view. dimensional drawings from German machine manufacturers usually include the LH side view.e.. However. the directions of projection are rotated. views are arranged. because. This type of dimensional drawing is common in Germany and. according to their position. the issue of concern here is that a German dimensional drawing reproduced. in the USA and Canada” (Wikiped. 7.

DIN ISO 128-30 (2002:9 resp. inconsistencies of this kind are not likely to cause any problems in practice. In brochures from other manufacturers there is no information as to where the brochure was produced. I was unable to find a single example of third-angle projection in the respective corpus: for example. if at all. Since dimensional drawings are designed. when a German manual is translated. following British conventions. 4) standards specify that the projection method shall be indicated. The first text in a multilingual brochure is usually written in the language of its source culture. in Germany to mark individual items in figures and refer to them from the verbal part of the text (Fig.. Fujitsu indicates that the brochure was prepared. This section deals with multilingual brochures from Japanese enterprises with global affiliations.MuTra2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Brigitte Horn-Helf Dimensional drawings are extremely rare in manuals originating in the US.5 Linkage to verbal text In contrast to the translation of the Russian book mentioned. as a result! Therefore. firstangle projection was applied. In brochures from Japanese manufacturers the first text is the English manual. This goes against conventions in US and UK technical writing. by Fujitsu Computers Ltd. in these cases (cf. Given the fact that nearly 50 % of figures are topically linked. 11) and DIN ISO 5456-2 (1998:3 resp. earlier. However. to give dimensions for installation. It is very common in manuals for machinery manufactured. LH). which may have served. Evidence could only be provided. a host of references to items appear in the TT.1). vertically on top of one another. does not mean to say that the English version was drafted. product might be manufactured. references to figures are less frequent and figures with topical linkage are more frequent than in US/UK originals. this remark in itself. 1. as the ST for producing the other language versions. rear and side views were arranged. should they occur in working drawings. the purpose of arranging the views as described. to as complete entities. a laterally reversed. 9. 4 Source cultural handling of figures in manuals for non-expert addressees The assertion that the various translations reflect ST conventions only is also true for multilingual brochures addressed. 3. As a 107 . was to make the best possible use of the available space. front. Obviously in these cases. on drawings using graphical symbols. adequate. The key and legend system is used. In English translations of manuals for German instruments (Fig. by analyzing British user guides for computer hardware which could not be made available for this analysis. into English. to the verbal text in American and British originals. there is no change to linkage between verbal text and figures in multilingual manuals from German manufacturers. to non-expert readers [cf.. Consequently. 9. in two of the drawings. rather than to follow any particular projection method. 3. In a preliminary remark in one of its brochures.1 [C]). and figures are more frequently referred. there is a conspicuous lack of topical linkage in English TTs. And obviously. where inscriptions are used. and in another drawing. UK. Figure features are extremely similar to those in other user guides of Japanese origin and seem to have little in common with British manuals for non-expert addressees. RH) the frequency of references to items may be considered.

(b) compare the German language versions to texts originating in Germany. Again. 10. in the given TL or not at all. We can examine user guides of Japanese origin in two ways: (a) compare the English language versions to texts of US/UK origin to determine whether or not their features comply with US/UK conventions. 108 . however. and (b) the manuals in both cases are for non-expert users.MuTra2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Brigitte Horn-Helf topical ref. 4. we do not know what conventions to expect here. in figures common to all language versions in multilingual brochures of Japanese origin. whereas in the German originals of multilingual brochures for household appliances more than 50 % of the figures are captioned. French. 10). and other language versions follow this pattern. The RH group shows features of user guides for Japanese consumer electronics (J E) set against user guides for German (G E) and US products. we see that as far as captioning is concerned.1 Segmentation of figures Item numbering and TL legends are deployed.2 Captions Figures with captions are an exception in English manuals for Japanese products (Fig. the closest possible equivalents for the following reasons: (a) portable copying machines and household appliances are manufactured. If we take user guides for Japanese consumer electronics (Fig. the English version is therefore as inconsistent with conventional practice as is the German one. figures. 9: Linkage to verbal text according to ST matter of fact. these texts are considered. by the mechanical technology industry. the charts are divided. because typically these brochures do not contain a Japanese version. (LH). A full view of the appliance or device. in this way. RH). As already mentioned. again.. contain too many uncaptioned. which is often set before the English text. is usually presented. Since uncaptioned. figures are even less frequent in manuals originating in the US and UK. in English. 7 Since manuals for Japanese household appliances were not available. Figures set in the various versions. German. to figure ref. into two parts: the LH group shows features of manuals for Japanese office equipment7 (J M) set against manuals for German (G H) and American/British household appliances (US/UK H). the German versions come fairly close to the originals whereas English language versions. are inscribed. to item G ST M E/F/S TT US/UK M G ST I E/F/S TT US/UK I Fig. 4.

A sketch is a 2D front view of an object's 8 Reproduced. Fig 11b: “sketch” (RH)8 According to this classification. The picture is a non-orthographic projection which gives it spatial depth. shading is sometimes applied. FORON und Seppelfricke – (RH illustration). a picture is a drawing (as opposed. To illustrate the differences between these two types. by Horn-Helf (2004:297) are the main types of figures found in user brochures for Japanese products.t 1996:198 calls a “Strich. by kind permission of AEG Hausgeräte GmH (LH illustration) and EFS Hausgeräte GmH – EBD. to a photograph) which gives the impression of being realistic despite the abstraction of some details. A sketch is a line or outline drawing (which Ballstaed. respectively 109 .3 Types of figures Pictures and sketches as classified..MuTra2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Brigitte Horn-Helf uncaptioned captioned GH J M US/UK H E/G/F GE JE E/G/F US E Fig. 11. an example of each type is given in Fig. a Figure 11: b Classification examples: Fig 11a: “picture” (LH). 10: Captions according to the English version 4. to enhance the sense of realism.oder Umrisszeichnung”) where only forms and contours are preserved. The key difference between a sketch and a picture is dimensionality.

This feature is reflected.e. The primary form of presenting visual information is a picture in user guides for Japanese consumer electronics.. Most of the figures in the English and other language versions are linked. 12 cultures also differ widely in the types of figures they use in their manuals. sketch picture photograph GH J M US/UK E/G/F H GE JE E/G/F US E Fig. linkage is preferably topical. a whole series of references would have to be added. sketches are also fairly common (RH. RH).MuTra2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Brigitte Horn-Helf contours.ed. and there are practically no photographs. J E). Consequently. to the verbal text by means of references (J E). in all text versions.4 Linkage to verbal text In multilingual manuals for Japanese office equipment (J M) figures are very seldom linked. to the verbal text by references (Fig. LH). In guides originating in Germany (G E) or the US (E) textual links are much less frequent. in all versions of user brochures for Japanese office equipment (J M) is the picture (LH). to suit German conventions (G H). to original guides. Pictures also prevail in manuals for household appliances written in the US/UK. as well. The majority of links are by shared. As opposed. In the case of English translations for US/UK readers the number of references would have to be tripled. to rectify this inconsistency). Visual information is pred. German and English versions are inconsistent with German and American conventions (a considerable increase in topical linkage would be need. The only form used. German and English language versions contain an over abundance of sketches. i.! The opposite holds for user guides for Japanese consumer electronics (Fig. 13. 13: Linkage to verbal text according to the English version 110 . sketches are used. topic. It lacks the spatial dimension rendered.ominantly presented. According to Fig. in a picture by means of perspective and shading. in photographs in manuals originating in Germany (G H). 12: Types of figures according to the English version (preferences) topical textual GH JM E/G/F US/UK H GE JE E/G/F US E Fig. 13. 4. If the German translation were to be adapted.

localization of content-related. 2004). As for the rest. Grundlagen. or under the auspices of. features has proven impractical more than once (Horn-Helf 1999. 6 References Ballstaed. for instance. to expert or non-expert audiences. in encouraging or making the necessary alterations to their texts. Hoischen. Japan. the German language version found in brochures from Japanese manufacturers follows the conventions of the English text – which may be considered. Berlin: VDE. 5). regardless of manufacturers’ nationalities or fields of business and of whether the texts are addressed. types of figures are not suited. Berlin: Cornelsen. However. When they are translated. Tübingen: Narr. Glied.t. Otherwise. Bildverständlichkeit – Ein Forschungsüberblick unter Anwendungsperspektive’. 111 .: Encyclopaed. localization of figures will definitely be restricted.) Wissenschaftliche Grundlagen der Technischen Kommunikation....erung. Beispiele. to the target culture’s conventions seems to depend on where the texts are translated. and probably further afield as well. Fachliches adressatengerecht vermitteln.MuTra2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Brigitte Horn-Helf 5 Conclusion The answer to the question as to whether or not figure features are adapted. Inhalt und Darstellung. (1998) Interkulturelles Technical Writing. we find that only inscriptions in figures are sometimes translated. in the target culture. Normen. that customers are interested. S. or (b) considerable damage would be caused. DIN ISO 128-30:2002-05 Technical drawings – General principles of presentation – Part 30: Basic conventions for views (ISO 128-30: 2001).ia Britannica. Berlin: Beuth. above provide us with a starting point. Berlin: Beuth. because (a) the ST would have to be rephrased. there is evidence that measures for adapting figures to text type conventions are actually taken. the source culture. when German manuals are translated. Darstellende Geometrie. DIN ISO 5456-2:1998-04 Technical drawings – Projection methods – Part 2: Orthographic representations (ISO 5456-2: 1996). Göpferich. figure features in any of the TTs follow German conventions.-P. if the texts are translated. it is current practice in drafting brochures to merely reproduce the figures in all language versions. What measures can be taken to promote the application of target cultural conventions in the translation process? The efforts in this direction that we found in the chapter from the Russian book mentioned. There is every reason to believe that this is standard practice in Germany. VDE 0039:2001-11 Erstellen von Anleitungen. Berlin: Beuth. thus impairing its intelligibility. we can fairly say that. in Hans P. France and the US. Obviously in this case the underlying conventions invoked. (1996) ‚Bildverstehen. Chicago and London etc. but are of unknown origin. In fact. are neither of UK or US origin. to the TT. (292003) Technisches Zeichnen. Engineering drawings and schematic diagrams (cf.ia. Macropaed. Krings (ed. for adaptation to the target culture’s conventions. Volume 5.ia Britannica Inc. a TT as well. are not interchangeable due to their different content. By the same token. DIN 2345:1998-04 Übersetzungsaufträge. S. Fig. Generally speaking. H. In other words. Attempts at adapting such features have failed. in. EB (151981) = The New Encyclopaed. Tübingen: Narr: 191-233. 2003. into English or other languages. DIN EN 62079:2001-11 resp. provided. to adding references and captions as appropriate.

) Progress in Direct Red. (ed. Tübingen: Francke. A Model Revisited. Tübingen: Francke: 30-53. Schmitt [ed. Koller. Lezel’. V. S. Verner. Sorvali. Paul Kussmaul and Peter A.und mikrokulturelle Kontraste in Anleitungen (habilitation thesis).d. P. Hönig. (1995) Training the Translator. Zeichenprozesse in der Darstellung wissenschaftlicher Ergebnisse’. (1999) Technisches Übersetzen in Theorie und Praxis. Kalverkä]. H. ----.uction. Tübingen: Stauffenburg: 167-170. Kussmaul. Zuzana Jettmarová. P.: Lang. Vermeer. Chapter 7 from German and English loose-leaf volumes. Wikiped. B.. Frankfurt am Main and Berlin etc. ----. D. (1986 /21994) ‚Übersetzen als kultureller Transfer’.uction]. Frankfurt am Main: Lurgi GmbH. (41992) Einführung in die Übersetzungswissenschaft. Tübingen: Narr: 125-144.A.(2004) Konventionen technischer Kommunikation: Makro.s] Handbuch Translation.) Übersetzungswissenschaft. 112 . Amsterdam and Philadelphia: Benjamins.) (n. Papst and F. Hans G. Chapter 7. Tübingen: Narr: 215-238. Eva Hajičová. J. Schmitt. Pčelkin (SSSR).MuTra2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Brigitte Horn-Helf Horn-Helf. in Heidrun Gerzymisch-Arbogast. Moskva: Metallurgija.s) Textologie und Translation. I. Petr Sgall.ia = Information From Answers. House. Heidelberg and Wiesbaden: Quelle & ‘Orthographic projection’. (1993) ‚Das fachliche Bild. J. Štefan (FRG) (1987) Razvitie beskoksovoj metallurgii [Development of Direct Red. Tübingen: Stauffenburg. Annely Rothkegel and Dorothee RothfussBastian (ed.answers. (1997) Translation Quality Assessment. Eine Neuorientierung.A. Mjuller. H. D.S. Tulin N. (1996) Translation Studies in a New Perspective. B. (1999) Translation und Technik. in Hartmut Schröder (ed.(2003) ‚Deklarationen in Varianten der Textsorte ‘Anleitung’: Makrokulturelle Präferenzen und ihre translatorische Behandlung’. Tübingen: Narr. Kupsch-Losereit. A. G. Werner. Kudrjavcev and S. 1-6 [www. in Mary Snell-Hornby (ed. V. (1998) ‚Interferenzen’ in Mary Snell-Hornby..) Fachtextpragmatik. W.

Extratextuality. These are Retention. wherein all strategies available to the subtitler are listed. poetry. Omission or the use of an Official Equivalent. at which the translators have to make active decisions. Co-text. Centrality of Reference. Direct Translation. with particular focus on subtitling. The translation crisis point caused by a cultural reference reveals the workings of many norms. Translation crisis points in Source and Target Texts also constitute “coupled pairs” in Toury’s sense (1995: 38). Granted. Generalization. it is advantageous to study certain features that can be seen as symptomatic of these norms.EU-High-Level Scientific Conference Series MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jan Pedersen (Stockholm) How is Culture Rendered in Subtitles? Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Introduction Extralinguistic culture-bound references Previous studies Strategies for rendering ECRs Influencing parameters Conclusions References Electronic resources Abstract This article investigates the translation problem. Intersemiotic Redundancy. What they have in common is that they present translation problems. Theses parameters are Transculturality. foreignization. © Copyright 2005-2007 by MuTra 113 . in that the parameters that influence the subtitler’s choice of strategy are explored. Substitution. 1 Introduction When analyzing translations for the purpose of uncovering the underlying norms in the tradition of Descriptive Translation Studies (Toury 1995). it is important to be aware that the translation crisis points only indicate what norms have been operative and then to proceed by analysing longer stretches of texts. such as domestication vs. quotations or allusions. or crisis point. and these points are thus indicative of overall strategy and to what norms the translator professes. At these points. degree of functionalism. Specification. One of the most revealing translation crisis points is when some reference to the Source Culture is made. A model is proposed. Media-specific Constraints and Paratextual Considerations. but it gives the analyst a starting point. This paper proposes to put forward a tentative model for analysing how cultural references are rendered in translation in general and subtitling in particular. which may be caused by an Extralinguistic Culture-bound Reference (ECR). These features can be called translation crisis points. The model also investigates the subtitling process. it is proposed that it is unlikely that a truly unsolvable culture-bound translation problem would exist. awareness of skopos etc. and examples of these are puns. and there is no obvious official equivalent. norms that normally are hidden or unconscious are thrown into relief. they constitute turning points. Finally.

Regardless of POS. depending on your standpoint. In other words. The same is true for the issue of culture. proverbs. 114 . The present model aims for a middle-of-the-road point of view. and also what she calls “key phrase allusions” (1994: 10) which are not part of the present model. as they refer to 1 2 In a very wide sense of the word. it is not from general translation studies. As this corpus is too extensive to be analyzed in its entirety. in which some things are intralinguistic and some are not. The present model owes much to her work. slang and dialects are not included in this model. on the other hand. which is operationalized by a simple demarcation line by using standard reference works such as the Oxford English Dictionary (www. to cultural items. 3 Previous studies 3. ECRs are. such as idioms. 3 Including fictional ones. including geographical names etc. a feature causing translation crisis points was chosen to indicate what norms had been dominant in the production of the subtitles. and which is assumed4 to have a discourse referent that is identifiable to a relevant5 audience as this referent is within the encyclopedic knowledge of this audience. everything. as.oed. 2000). I call this feature Extralinguistic Culture-bound reference (ECR). such as Nedergaard Larsen (1993) and Orrevall (2004). and it is defined as follows: Extralinguistic Culture-bound Reference (ECR) is defined as reference that is attempted by means of any culture-bound1 linguistic expression2. 1997. a TV programme’s primary target audience. a wider notion than her allusions. Her allusions cover a wider area than the ECRs do. 5 E. even though it is possible that the model could be modified for the study of those as well. Is language culture and vice versa? These are highly complex issues and they go beyond the scope of this paper. This means that the study of intralinguistic culture-bound references. ECRs are expressions pertaining to realia. 4 As implied in the speech situation.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jan Pedersen 2 Extralinguistic culture-bound references The proposed model is based on data from the investigation of one hundred Anglophone films and TV-programs and their Scandinavian subtitles in a project called Scandinavian Subtitles (cf. Pedersen 2003b). syntactic function or size. which are not part of a language system. or nothing is purely intralinguistic. in that they cover intralinguistic cultural expressions as well. The language issue is of course a complex issue. to studies dealing with culture in audio-visual translation. It should be pointed out. such as Hatim (1997).g.1 Culture There have been a few studies of how cultural elements are translated. which refers to an extralinguistic entity3 or process. some things. that even though the object of study is similar and overlapping in many ways. The best-known investigation of the translation of cultural elements to date is probably Leppihalme’s studies of allusions and how they cause “culture bumps” (1994. though.

a strategy which has been debated (and often denounced) ever since by scholars from Levý (1967/2000) to Venuti (1995). Venuti 1995). such as Generalization. It could be said that this “preformed TL version” is evidence of the ECR having entered the TL. an Official Equivalent may come into existence as a “standard translation […] a preformed TL version” (Leppihalme 1994: 94). The pivotal point about Official Equivalents is that when one exists. 4. A typical example of this would be the fact that ‘Donald Duck’ is called ‘Kalle Anka’ in Swedish.1 Official equivalent The strategy of using an Official Equivalent is different in kind from the other strategies. The taxonomy of translation strategies in the present model is perhaps inevitably somewhat similar to that of Leppihalme (1994: 94). Intertextuality is thus not a prerequisite for inclusion in the category of ECRs. some sort of official decision by people in authority over an ECR is needed. 115 . 3. but it makes finer distinctions. the verb ‘render’ will henceforth be used about the different strategies involved in transferring ECRs from a Source Text (ST) to a Target Text (TT).2 Translation strategies The list of previous studies uncovering translation strategies is long indeed. 4 Strategies for rendering ECRs Instead of ‘translate’. There may be other reasons. Having said that. as there is a pre-fabricated solution to the problem. in that the process is bureaucratic rather than linguistic. but it could easily be adapted to suit other forms of translation as well. it is highly unlikely that you would have a translation crisis point. but who left out some strikingly common techniques. One of the earliest attempts at classifying translation strategies known to this author is Vinay and Darbelnet (1958/2000). as not all of the strategies actually involve translation. and there is no translation-related reason for rendering ‘Donald Duck’ in any other way. the more neutral labels ‘Source Language (SL) oriented’ and ‘Target Language (TL) oriented’ will be used. such as the time-and-space constraints of subtitling.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jan Pedersen anything that is extralinguistic and culture-bound. Following the spirit of Hermans reasoning about “authentication” (2003: 39). the Venutian terms will be abandoned. the strategies for rendering ECRs into a Target Language are arranged on what might be called a Venutian scale. and also to that of Nedergaard Larsen (1993: 219). and not just other texts. as they are somewhat counterproductive when translating from English into smaller languages such as the Scandinavian ones. which would be the case of allusions. In this model. however. Instead. for there to be an Official Equivalent. The taxonomy is based on descriptive observations of norms underlying subtitling. Apart from “the executive decision”. ranging from the most foreignizing to the most domesticating strategies (cf. however. who displayed an impressive array of possible translation strategies.

3 Specification Specification means leaving the ECR in its untranslated form. though. by adjusting the spelling or dropping an article. 4. below). as it offers no guidance whatever to the TT audience.3. making the TT ECR more specific than the ST ECR. but adding information that is not present in the ST. This is by far the most common strategy for rendering ECRs. In 116 . In one sense. Retention would be the strategy that displays the most fidelity towards the ST. the difference seems to be whether the ECR is a proper noun (unmarked or in quotes) or not. It is however not the most felicitous way of solving an ECR crisis point that involves a Monocultural ECR (see section 5. but indeed every letter of the ST.1. in which case the ECR may be marked by italics. There appears to be much inconsistency. as it allows an element from the SL to enter the TT. Explicitation could be seen as any strategy involving expansion of the text.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jan Pedersen Fig. or spelling out anything that is implicit in the ST. 4. The ECR can also be adjusted slightly to meet TL conventions. as the translator is true not only to the spirit. This is done in one of two ways: either through Explicitation or Addition. 1: Taxonomy of ECR transfer strategies 4.1 Explicitation Explicitation is here used in a very restricted sense.2 Retention Retention is the most SL-oriented strategy. Sometimes the retained ECR is marked off from the rest of the TT by quotes and occasionally by italics.

The drawbacks of this strategy are that it is space consuming and could be regarded as patronizing. as part of the expression side (the name) of the ECR. It is more common. between the exotic and the domestic. This can be seen in the Swedish subtitles of example (1). or subtracted.38) A ‘Captain of police’ would more often than not be rendered by using some corresponding Danish title.31) Botham would be virtually unknown to most Swedes. such as ‘kommissær’. The Calque in (2) would definitely seem odd to the TT audience. but it is not uncommon for rendering the names of companies. as part of the sense or connotations of the ECR. There is no effort made to transfer connotations or guide the TT audience in any way. so by adding ‘cricketspelaren’ (“the cricket player”). required by the differences between SL and TL (cf. Unlike the strategies of Specification and Generalization. where a character (David Brent) in The Office names someone who has had an influence on his life: (1) Ian Botham Cricketspelaren Ian Botham (The Office9: 1. official institutions. 4. based on the outcome of the strategy: Calque and Shifted. The only shifts that are made when a Calque is produced are obligatory ones. technical gadgetry etc. Examples of this are the spelling out of an acronym or abbreviation (often combined with other strategies). By using this strategy. the Swedish subtitler has rendered this ECR in a way that has made it more accessible to the Swedish audience. the adding of someone’s first name or the completion of an official name to disambiguate an ECR for the Target Culture (TC) audience.4 Direct translation This strategy could hardly be used on proper names. Vinay & Darbelnet: 1958/2000: 88). 117 . A Calque would be the result of stringent literal translation and it may appear exotic to the TT audience. for translators to perform some optional shifts on the ST ECR that makes the ECR more unobtrusive (Shifted Direct Translation).3. the strategy is divided into two subcategories.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jan Pedersen the present model. and less SL-oriented. which may not be as familiar with the ECR as the original Source Culture (SC) audience is. the translator intervenes to give guidance to the TC audience. An example of this is the Danish subtitles of example (2): (2) Captain (of police) politi-kaptajn (Midnight Run: 51. however. Explicitation means that the added material is latent in the ST ECR. In the present model. 4. the semantic load of the ST ECR is unchanged: nothing is added.2 Addition This means that the added material is latent in the ECR. the strategy of Direct Translation straddles the fence between the SL and the TL-oriented strategies. Thus.

a husband and so on. The difference between the strategies is linguistic and based on the perspective of the ST ECR. Typically.6 Substitution This strategy involves removing the ST ECR and replacing it with something else. producing a TT item that is less specific than the ST ECR. but in a wide sense. he is a charity worker. in that the information added in Addition often is a hyperonym. For instance. an Officer of the British Empire. as the form of the TT ECR may retain uniqueness of referent. In the least marked form a transcultural (cf. a rogue.g. Yet. 4.1 below) ECR is used to replace the ST ECR. Addition could be said to be the result of Generalization + Retention. In these cases. Leppihalme 1994: 96. albeit not necessarily6. as in example (4) (where the name of a particular café has been replaced by a Swedish hyperonym meaning “a café”(indefinite)).19).6. the movement goes in the opposite direction. and his wife asks him “Who the hell did this?” Thinking this a stupid question.5 Generalization This strategy (which typically. This is illustrated in example (5). the speaker suggests the avuncular host of a children’s TV-program. which does not necessarily involve an ECR. and section 5. 118 . The speaker’s car has just been blown up. as there is no way for him to know this. taken from the Last Boy Scout. as ‘cricket player’ could be said to be a hyperonym of Ian Botham: there are many cricket players and one of their number is Ian Botham. namely: 6 Translation is not present in e. and replaced by a different ECR.59) (4) the Corinth coffee shop ett kafé (Meet Joe Black: 37. and the technique involves not as much hyponymy as meronymy7. 7 I owe the meronymy observation to Christina Alm-Arvius. Thus. the ECR would be an ECR that could be expected to be known by the TT audience. The person known as ‘Ian Botham’ is many things besides being a cricket player. either a different ECR or some sort of paraphrase. the TT ECR disregards all other parts of Botham’s persona.1 Cultural substitution The strategy of Cultural Substitution means that the ST ECR is removed. (3) Voit boldmærket (Meet the Parents: 58. In Generalization. rendering ‘Central Park’ as New York. which is done by a Danish subtitler of Jurassic Park (45. there is an upward movement on a hyponymy scale. When using Addition. Thus. the TT ECR is more specific than the ST ECR.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jan Pedersen 4. as in example (3). involves translation) means replacing an ECR referring to something specific by something more general. 4. (where a particular brand of volleyball has been replaced by a Danish hyperonym meaning “the brand of the ball” (definite)) or not. this involves hyponymy. This can be seen in example (1) above. focussing only on his being a cricket player.20) There are similarities between the strategies of Generalization and of Addition.

an American agent claims to have gone to: (7) NYU KUA (Spy Hard: 39. which means that they could be considered Official Equivalents produced by Substitution. as in example (7). and there is probably not even much awareness that the ST ECR has been replaced by a TT ECR.1 below). in a humorous conversation based on a profusion of anagrams and abbreviations. see section 5. Second. where. In a more marked form.17) The Danish subtitler has opted to substitute the (in America) well-known abbreviation of ‘New York University’. This is the most domesticating of all strategies for rendering ECRs. the joke (based on a profusion of anagrams) is kept.8 At this point. for two reasons. The credibility gap is triggered by a character positioned in the SC treating a TC ECR as if it were a SC ECR.e. it should be mentioned that it is not at all uncommon for two strategies to combine in this (i.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jan Pedersen (5) Mr Rogers Anders And (Last Boy Scout: 18. Cultural Substitution + Official Equivalent) and other ways (notably Explicitation + Direct Translation). The evidence of this is that the Transcultural ECRs rendered in this way are lexicalized. This practice has a long tradition in translation and is a fast and effective way of rendering this sort of ECR. The strategy could therefore hardly be used in texts where information is the primary skopos (cf. First. the strategy is also used for made-up ECRs (i. see section 5.53) The TT audience seems to be used to this. Text Internal ECRs. the result could be considered an anomaly and this creates a certain credibility gap. This does not mean that all cases of TL ECR Cultural Substitution are Official Equivalents. (6) the Prison Board kriminalvårdsstyrelsen (Tango & Cash: 30. Thus. which would not be the case for an Official Equivalent.e. When this category is used outside what could vaguely be called “the official domain” and is applied to proper names.07) Presumably because ‘Mr Rogers’ is virtually unknown in Scandinavia. and found in most bilingual dictionaries. rather than because of his gentle manners.2.e. 119 . This strategy can be illustrated by the Swedish translation of (6). below). a Monocultural ECR. at the 8 The cause of Donald Duck’s being unlikely to blow up cars differs from Mr Rogers as it is based on Donald Duck’s being a cartoon character. particularly humor. for the (in Denmark) well-known anagram of (a part of) ‘the University of Copenhagen’. when the ST ECR is less well known to the TT audience (i. Vermeer 1989/2000). the SL ECR is replaced by a TL ECR. who shares with Mr Rogers the property of being highly unlikely to blow up people’s cars. there is much variability in what TT ECR is chosen. where an American official institution has been replaced by a corresponding Swedish institution. the Danish subtitler has replaced him by the Danish Official Equivalent of ‘Donald Duck’. but the strategy appears in texts that have other primary skopoi. This strategy is most often used for rendering ECRs referring to official institutions or titles.

maj 1945 (MM1: 8. the ST ECR is removed.10 Han lämnade säkert inte loket. so the ECR pertaining to its ending would be more vivid in the minds of the Danish audience. This strategy would mainly be used for solving ECR crisis points that are too complex for Generalization or Specification. from Midsomer Murders.54) The crucial difference between the Swedish and the Danish audiences here is that the Danes. the Swedish subtitler has opted for scratching the ST ECR and substituting it by a Sense Transfer Paraphrase that retains the relevant information about this American folk hero. there is a train crash and the investigating marshals are discussing what the driver of the engine may have done. but its sense or relevant connotations are kept by using a paraphrase. one being identical to the TL ECR above.9 4. He then suggests a subcategory for Transcultural ECRs from the SC. and Transcultural ECRs shared by the SC and TC. and the Tommy Lee Jones character clips: (8) I bet he did a Casey Jones. where some people are looking at pictures of: (9) the VE Day celebrations Swedish subtitle: firandet av kapitulationen i andra världskriget (Back translation: the celebrations of the capitulation in the Second World War) Danish subtitle: 8. 4.1.25) Judging that Casey Jones would be little known in Sweden. Also.1 Paraphrase with sense transfer When using this strategy. An example of this is (8). The ECR in example (9).6. but not the Swedes.2 Paraphrase This strategy involves rephrasing the ECR. 120 . see section 5. a brief scan suggests that the strategy is used too rarely to validate any further subdivision.). thus keeping the train on the tracks. The story of CJ was disseminated by a folk song that bears his name. and saving the lives of his passengers and dying a martyr. or by completely removing all trace of the ECR and instead using a paraphrase that fits the context. either through “reduction to sense” (Leppihalme 1994: 125). Transculturality. 10 Casey Jones was an American engine driver hero who is famous for remaining on his post when his train crashed. There may be an inverse relation between the length of the TT paraphrase and the degree of familiarity of the TT audience with the ECR (i.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jan Pedersen cost of a slight credibility gap.6. (Back translation: I’m sure he didn’t leave the engine.e. It could be argued that this difference is too fine to validate this division (his example for the latter subcategory is ‘McDonald’s’. He himself does not make this subdivision for this very reason. as not many American agents receive their education at the Arts and Humanities department of the University of Copenhagen. took part in the war. which is an ECR 9 Gottlieb (forthcoming) suggests three subcategories of this strategy. In the Fugitive.) (Fugitive: 20. The paraphrase in question may vary much in length and complexity as compared to the SL ECR. which might also qualify for inclusion in his former subcategory).2. This can be illustrated by example (9).

the subtitlers may not be aware that they have used more than one strategy. Generalization and Substitution.7 Omission As Toury has pointed out (1995: 82). and illustrates how it is SL-or TL-oriented. intervention would be carried out to aid the TT audience. The same is true of what will be discussed in the next section. Thus the minimum change strategies would be Retention. It is still a paraphrase. It is for instance not uncommon that a ST ECR is explicitated before being directly translated.2. Omission is a valid translation strategy. every sense of the ST ECR is completely removed. and intervention would in most cases lead to TL orientation. though. ‘Befrielsesdagen’ (“Liberation Day”). This method seems to be used a lot when it comes to rendering ECRs in puns. regardless of the sense of the SC ECR. with Omission sitting on the sideline as being neither. to save him/herself the trouble of looking up something s/he does not know” (1994: 93).2 Situational paraphrase When using this strategy. The relevant top categories (orientation) could then be replaced by the top categories of ‘minimum change strategies’ and ‘interventional strategies’ (cf Leppihalme 1994: 200). This is probably particularly true in the case where strategies combine. namely what parameters influence the decisions subtitlers make.8 Discussion As we have seen.). there are many strategies for rendering ECRs into TT subtitles. and the interventional strategies would be Specification. This strategy could thus be considered a quasi-omission strategy. and thus to bring the text closer to the TC (cf. The grouping would still be very similar. as the Danish Official Equivalent. 4. but it may also be opted for out of laziness. or irresponsibly. It does not necessarily mean that the subtitlers themselves are consciously aware of what choices they make. which is generally not the case for Paraphrase and Generalization and obviously not Omission. 4. 4. There are circumstances that make Omission the only viable option (see section 5. after rejecting all alternative strategies. is not used. and replaced by something that fits the situation. not all of which involve translation and not all of which involve a TT ECR. 121 . Schleiermacher 1813/1998: 118). Official Equivalent and Direct Translation.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jan Pedersen crisis point for the Swedish TT audience. and in the present model it simply means replacing the ST ECR with nothing. The strategies describe linguistically how ECRs are transferred from ST to TT. It is important to note that in real life subtitling. This is because it would be unlikely for a subtitler to intervene to make a TT more foreignized. as part of the process may be internalized and subconscious. Instead. as minimum change would imply that SC ECRs are retained. It is also possible to view it from the perspective of the translation process.6. the strategies are often combined. could be considered a Transcultural ECR for the Danish (but not the Swedish) TT audience. As Leppihalme puts it: ”a translator may choose omission responsibly. The taxonomy in this section is based on the translation product.

The notion of Transculturality as explained by Welsch explores how cultures in the modern world “are extremely interconnected and entangled with each other” (1994: 198). Leppihalme also deals with this parameter in her work on allusions. or even necessary to use these strategies. This section contains an attempt to list all factors (or parameters) that influence the decisionmaking of subtitlers. like Cultural Substitution. This results in three methodologically relevant levels of Transculturality.1 Transcultural ECR A Transcultural ECR is an ECR which is not bound to the Source Culture. there are many circumstances. It is important to note that even though they are listed separately. This implies that many ECRs that once were familiar only to people in one culture. will now be accessible on a global scale.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jan Pedersen 5 Influencing parameters Some of the strategies outlined in the previous section may seem odd and it may seem as if the subtitlers are taking rather too many liberties with the ST. namely Transcultural ECRs. The present model differs in that it also includes what is not generally known in either of the cultures involved. However. 2: Levels of Transculturality 5. Her model contains a diagram of what is known in Anglophone society and what is known in Finland. they are intertwined and interact to a very high degree. and what is shared by the two cultures (1994: 96).1 Transculturality The most basic of all influencing parameters is that of Transculturality. and may combine to aid or obstruct the subtitler in his or her work. Transcultural ECRs Monocultural ECRs Microcultural ECRs Fig. As applied to the present model. under which it may be justified. the degree of Transculturality of an ECR deals with how familiar it is to the ST and TT audiences. This is particularly true of the more TL-oriented strategies. Seven parameters have been generalized from the data available.1. 5. but which should be retrievable from common encyclopedic knowledge of the ST and the TT audiences. Monocultural ECRs and Microcultural ECRs. as it 122 . and are thus not very culture-bound.

MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jan Pedersen could be assumed to be known in both the SC and the TC (e. These two categories are purely referential and cannot have any sense or connotation beyond what can be established within the text (or series of texts) or through the intralingual sense of the words making up the ECR. In these cases. ‘Lancaster Square’ (Truman Show: 28. as the subtitler would have no impediment from the Text External world to limit his or her choice of translation strategy. This difference can be ascertained by analyzing the way in which the ECR is treated in the ST. ‘19. a Text External ECR is an ECR that exists in some culture. The level of Transculturality of a specific ECR varies with some of the other influencing parameters. There would of course be a few potential members of the ST audience who would know the ECR (people living on Cranberry Street in Brooklyn. such as that of the assumed knowledge of the target audience. 123 . 5. Brooklyn’ (Moonstruck: 1. which arises when the referent of an ECR can be assumed to be less identifiable to the majority of the relevant TT audience than it is to the relevant ST audience.41).g. This means that they are fairly unproblematic from a translation point of view.2 Extratextuality This parameter has to do with whether an ECR exists outside the ST or not. due to differences in encyclopedic knowledge. independent of the text at hand. An example of this would be ‘James Bond’ which is Text Internal when he introduces himself in Goldfinger (11.53)). an ECR is Text Internal if it is constructed for the text (or series of texts) at hand.45. but that is not the point. but Text External (and Transcultural) when a character compares himself to Bond in Notting Hill (1.29)). This shows that Text External ECRs may very well be fictional. Transcultural ECRs and Microcultural ECRs.3 Microcultural ECR A Microcultural ECR is bound to the Source Culture. as long as they do not have existence in the text at hand. This is unproblematic from a translation point of view. If it does. A Text Internal ECR may be virtually indistinguishable from a Microcultural ECR (e. for instance). as well as Monocultural ECR are always Text External.39)).g. Thus. but it could not be assumed to be within the encyclopedic knowledge of neither the ST nor the TT audience. 5. ‘7-Eleven’ (As Good As It Gets: 32.g.03)) and/or belongs to a third culture (e.16. reference must instead be achieved through the context or the co-text.2 Monocultural ECR A Monocultural ECR causes a translation crisis point. Cranberry Street. The point is that the number of people who know the ECR is negligible compared to the total relevant ST audience.31). as it is too specialized or too local to be known even by the majority of the relevant ST audience (e. ‘Jacques Cousteau’ (Anaconda: 7. if it is very successful. it is Text Internal. it is Text External. 5.1. An originally Text Internal ECR may become a Transcultural ECR through the process of intertextuality. If it does not.1. as both Microcultural ECRs and Text Internal ECRs must attempt to achieve reference intratextually. Conversely.g. so that what is a Transcultural ECR in one text may be a Monocultural ECR in another text.

then there is plenty of evidence of Omission being used. e. it may typically be the subject matter. If an ECR is just mentioned in passing a few times in the film. or at least a very central theme of the film or TVprogramme at hand. appearing in the film just once. However. it is 124 . we saw an example of this. then the ECR would be peripheral on the macro level. If an ECR is central on the macro level.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jan Pedersen Source Culture Text External ECRs Intertextuality Polysemiotic TEXT Text Internal ECRs SLinspired names Subtitles Fig. it could just be one in a long list of ECRs.3 Centrality of reference This is one of the most important influencing parameters. When establishing the centrality of an ECR in a text. To render the county in Bridges of Madison County as anything other than ‘Madison’ would be slightly absurd. then it would be central on the micro level. Even if the ECR (‘Mr Rogers’) is very peripheral on the macro level. The treatment of it would then depend on how central it is to local discourse on the micro level. carries local discourse forward. and responsibly at that.g. In example (5) above. If it is peripheral on the micro level as well.g. is referred to later on. 3: Extratextuality flow chart 5. and it works on multiple levels. one has to look at the ECR on at least two levels: the macro level and the micro level. if the ECR e. There may then be a need for interventional strategies. It would then be more or less impossible to render it by using any other strategy than Retention or Official Equivalent. or is the trigger of a joke.

her short utterance of “M.D. Thinking that something has happened to her asthmatic son. the leading lady returns home to find a car carrying M. music and sound effects).5 Co-text This parameter is fairly uncomplicated. Gottlieb 1997: 146). unlike literary translation or dubbing (isosemiotic translation. First. Gottlieb (1997: 143) distinguishes between four semiotic channels in polysemiotic texts (e. making them think that ‘Mr Rogers’ was the “bad guy” in the movie. the picture). 5.” . If an ECR is disambiguated or explained at some point earlier or later in the co-text. the dialogue) and the verbal visual channels (signs and captions). Subtitling is additive (Gottlieb 1997: 141). en läkarbil (Back translation: a doctor’s car) (As Good as it Gets: 1.D.D. some sort of explanation would be necessary to explain why she becomes upset and how she knows that there is a doctor in her house. and gasps: (10) M. This has two effects for the subtitles. where the ST is replaced by the TT. the verbal audio channel (i. 125 .07) As the practice of marking physicians’ cars in this way is unknown in Scandinavia. because they are part of a polysemiotic text. rather than as ironic. In the film As Good as it Gets.g. films or tv-programmes): the non-verbal visual channel (i. which is less felicitous. All these channels carry semiotic information.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jan Pedersen central on the micro level. Just as there may be overlapping information in the other semiotic channels in the polysemiotic text. or alternatively leaving the TT audience in the dark as to the trigger for her behaviour. and there is often a degree of overlap. and b) the non-verbal visual channel: a car is seen in the picture. Second.D. An example: if something is referred to in the dialogue and at the same time clearly visible in the picture.e. From a subtitling point of view.g. she becomes upset. It may simplify the referring process in other ways as well. instead of having to come up with some more cumbersome explanation for her behaviour.”. as in example (10).11 5. This is probably why the Danish subtitler chose to Substitute for it something that would be accessible to the TT audience. the verbal audio channel .04. license plates parked outside her house. the subtitler does not have to perform the task at every point. the redundancy caused by the identical information between the two verbal channels means that the subtitler only has to subtitle the message once (normally pertinent signs in the picture are subtitled). it may be enough to refer to it by using a pronoun in the subtitles (Generalization). the presence of the car makes it possible for the subtitler to use the brief Paraphrase strategy in (10).e. as that may lead the Swedish TT audience taking the utterance at face value. In this supported by a) the verbal visual channel: the license plate inscription “M. the non-verbal audio channels (e. there may be overlapping information elsewhere in the co-text (the dialog). the greater the Intersemiotic Redundancy. it adds information. or Intersemiotic Redundancy between them. the less the pressure for the subtitler to provide the TT audience with guidance.4 Intersemiotic redundancy Subtitles differ from the common notion of TT. 11 The Swedish subtitlers of this film opted for Retention here.

this constraint often leads to Explicitation being used on ECRs in subtitles. e. which means that the text gets somewhat formalized in the transfer from SL to TL. because in very many cases. subtitles are seen as a “hybrid” form. which often restrict the subtitlers’ options. For more details on these matters. these options are limited by constraints such as the widely applied 12 cps rule. but it means that Omission is sometimes the only viable strategy for rendering (or rather not rendering) ECRs in subtitling of rapid dialogue. and the following are but a few examples of the most central questions in each cluster. Nevertheless.7. the list is not meant to be exclusive: 5. 2000). there is the semiotic switch from the spoken to the written word.7 Paratextual considerations The parameters outlined this far have in common that they can be analysed from the texts alone or from the interplay between the texts and the world. Generally speaking. the Internet and even TV-guides. and the subtitler may have ample time and space to use space-consuming strategies like Addition or Paraphrase. Chesterman 1998: 207) and the individual considerations combine to form overall translation goals or overarching translation strategies pertaining to the text as a whole. Unfortunately. and they will be outlined here only insofar as they interfere with the rendering of ECRs. On the other hand. containing oral features in the written form. Nevertheless.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jan Pedersen 5. In many countries. the media-specific constraints can be low (in slow dialogue). or Gottlieb (1997. the dialogue will be condensed. Vermeer: 1989/2000) i) ii) iii) iv) What are the national norms of subtitling? What are the company’s guidelines and other in-house rules for subtitling? Have the clients left any instructions about what sort of strategies they want? What norms does the subtitler prescribe to? 126 . The paratextual considerations can be broken down into a few clusters of questions.6 Media-specific constraints The media-specific constraints of subtitling should be well known by now. The facts that constitute the paratextual considerations would ideally be included in Nord’s “translation briefs”(1997: 59). pivotal explanations of subtitling behavior lie here. the reader is referred to the works of Luyken (1991). The parameter is centered on the translation situation (cf. This means that in rapid conversation. translation briefs are extremely rare in real life subtitling.g. but rather about the text. which means that there should be a display time of one second per 12 characters in the subtitles (equalling 36 characters for a full one-liner that would be displayed for three seconds). broadcasters. Most fundamentally. The condensation tends to affect verbal material that is less central than ECRs however. and even rarer for an analyst of subtitling to get hold of. This means that the answers to the paratextual questions often have to be sought elsewhere: from subtitlers. A previous study by the present author shows that the mean quantitative condensation rate is about a third in Scandinavia (Pedersen 2003a).1 Skopos-related Questions (cf. Ivarsson & Carroll (1998). however. guidelines. 5. it is crucial to take the paratextual factors into consideration. Apart from the semiotic switch. subtitling companies. This final parameter is not in the text. there are “the famous and infamous time and space restrictions of subtitling” (Gottlieb 2004: 219).

7. and as some subtitling firms do not pay very well.7. What financial remuneration may there have been? Since subtitlers get paid by their quantitative output.g. v) What genre is the film? a) Is it a documentary? Then information is the most important aspect. Using this model. We have also seen the seven different parameters that influence the subtitlers’ decision-making: Transculturality. ‘The Battle of the Bulge’ (if that is the ECR at stake)? Do they have specialist knowledge? Does the program appeal only to e. etc.7. Retention. Direct Translation. Intersemiotic Redundancy. Who is the broadcaster? a) Is it a public service channel? They have certain obligations towards their viewers regarding reading speed etc.4 Questions related to Pragmatic matters i) ii) What may the deadlines have been? Interventional strategies take time. Extratextuality.g.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jan Pedersen a) Foreignizing? b) Domesticating? c) etc. 5. Co-text. etc. Media-specific Constraints and Paratextual Considerations. Specification. and minimum change strategies could be used. b) Is it a comedy? Then humor is the most important aspect. ii) iii) 5. Substitution and Omission. with the result of more felicitous solutions. Generalization. and interventional strategies take time. there is ample evidence of some subtitlers’ not always being able to set aside the time it takes to use interventional strategies. etc.3 Broadcasting-relates Questions i) When will the film be aired? a) On prime time? That signals high prestige and many viewers. an analyst should be able to describe how 127 . and there is evidence of more effort going into prime time subtitling. iii) 6 Conclusions The model presented in this paper covers the seven strategies available to subtitlers for rendering ST ECRs in subtitles: Official Equivalent. iii) 5. and interventional strategies may have to be used to secure punch lines. Centrality of Reference.2 TT Audience-related Questions i) ii) What is the age group? Do they remember e. vi) etc. hence Retention. snowboarding buffs? Then they could be assumed to be familiar with many of the ECRs pertaining to that field. and the subtitler may not have had that.

the media-specific Constraints are high and the Paratextual Considerations has shown you e. the present author has still to come across such an ECR.e. the CoText offers no guidance. that you are dealing with a general audience without particular knowledge of the subject matter of the film at hand. It has indeed served the present author well when applied on a corpus of one hundred films and TV-programs and their subtitles. if you have a Text External and Monocultural ECR. If all seven parameters work against a subtitler: i. this model should go a long way towards uncovering the translation norms that are operative for that corpus.g. However. after analyzing about one hundred thousand subtitles.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jan Pedersen ECRs have been rendered in a TT and also explain why they have been rendered in this way. 4: The “untransferable” ECR 128 . Applied on a significantly large corpus. which is central to the film. Fig. it has also illustrated a tendency about the translatability of culture in subtitles. Interestingly enough. the Intersemiotic Redundancy is low. then none of the seven strategies may offer a solution and you may have an untransferable ECR on your hands.

University of Copenhagen. Effects. 39-41. Birgit (1993): ‘Culture-Bound Problems in Subtitling’. (1989/2000): ‘Skopos and Commission in Translational Action’. -----.) (1998): Med andra ord. Dubbing and Voice-over. H. Gottlieb. English Department Studies 2. Lawrence (ed. unpublished background study.(2000): ‘Caution: Cultural Bumps. Exeter: University of Exeter Press. London New York: Routledge. Translation & Idioms. 2004. In Dimitrova.(2000): The Translation Studies Reader. Lars (ed. 5-6 november 1998. Nordic Journal of English Studies. Special Issue. -----. Agneta (2004): Hur hanterar undertextare utomspråkliga kulturrelaterade begrepp? [How do subtitlers handle extralinguistic culturally related notions?]. Georg-Michael (1991): Overcoming Language Barriers in Television: Dubbing and Subtitling for the European Audience. Jan (2003a): A Corpus-linguistic Investigation into Quantitative and Qualitative Reduction in Subtitles. University of Copenhagen. 115-130. Texter om litterär översättning [In other words. Jiří (1967/2000): ‘Translation as a decision process’. London . no 1. In Perspectives: Studies in Translatology. Lawrence (2000): The Translation Studies Reader.(2000): Screen Translation: Six Studies in Subtitling.): The Translation Studies Reader. Jan & Carroll. Unpublished term paper. Hermans. Lawrence (1995): The Translator’s Invisibility: A History of Translation. -----. Stockholm. London . Leppihalme. -----. Gideon (1995): Descriptive Translation Studies – And Beyond. Schleiermacher.(forthcoming): Subtitling against the Current: Danish Concepts. Toury. 1993. Copenhagen: Centre for Translation Studies. English Minds. Örebro University. Equivalence and Intertextuality’. Jerome Publishing. Friedrich (1813/1998): ‘Om de olika metoderna att översätta’ [On the Different Methods of Translation] translated by Lars Bjurman. unpublished pilot study. Andrew (1998): Causes. In Venuti. Basil (1997): Communication Across Cultures: Translation Theory and Contrastive Text Linguistics. Target X. Ritva (1994): Culture Bumps: On the Translation of Allusions. 2. In Venuti. On Cultural Literacy as a Goal in Translator Training’. Texts about literary translation] Stockholm: Natur och Kultur. Manchester: European Institute for the Media. In Wasafari: The Transnational Journal of International Writing. 40 (2003 Winter). Vol 3. Helsinki: University of Helsinki. Clevedon etc: Multilingual Matters Ltd.(1997): Culture Bumps. -----. 221-231. Ivarsson. Englund (ed): Översättning och Tolkning: Rapport från ASLA:s höstsymposium. Christiane (1997): Translating as a Purposeful Activity: Functionalist Approaches Explained. Orrevall. Örebro University.New York: Routledge pp. -----.): Worlds of Words: A Tribute to Arne Zettersten. Levý. Simrishamn: TransEdit. 148 – 159. Nedergaard-Larsen.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jan Pedersen 7 References Chesterman.(2003b): Scandinavian Subtitles: A Pilot Study Based on the ESIST Project. Venuti. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins Vermeer. Pedersen. Cay (ed. Luyken. Stockholm University. Theo (2003): ‘Translation. Nord. 129 . Mary (1998): Subtitling. Henrik (1997): Subtitles. Translations. In: Kleberg. Uppsala: Universitetstryckeriet. In Dollerup. 2: 207-242.New York: Routledge. London & New York: Routledge. J. Manchester: St. Copenhagen: Centre for Translation Studies.(2004): ‘Subtitles and International Anglification’. Hatim. -----.

Welsch. Lawrence (ed. 8 Electronic resources Oxford English Dictionary Online: 130 . London . 17 &18. Hamel.Translated by Juan C. In California Sociologist. In Venuti.-J.New York: Routledge. Sager and M. 84-93. Jean Paul and Jean Darbelnet (1958/2000): ‘A methodology for translation’.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Jan Pedersen Vinay.): The Translation Studies Reader. Wolfgang (1994): ‘Transculturality – the Puzzling Form of Cultures Today’. 19-39.oed.

net. is a new multidimensional type of multi-media source material and the translation of web material constitutes a new type of multilingual service. each of which is identified by a uniform resource identifier (URI). Its object. as well as suggest and develop a strategy to apply from translation studies approaches to website localization. there is a terminology problem. we mean all pages on the World Wide Web for a specified company or institution. at least in English: website is a very practical term in English. Localization of web sites will bring new aspects into translation studies such as dealing with hypertext and multimedia and will create a new demand for translation products and skills. This clarification is followed by a brief description of methods and strategies used in the process of localizing websites including the role and importance of business. the Web. a Webauftritt and not just one single webpage. It is attempted to show that some aspects of translation studies are relevant for website localization. i. The second term used in the title localization is a term which is defined as adapting a product to a particular locale (LISA 2003.EU-High-Level Scientific Conference Series MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Peter Sandrini (Innsbruck) Website Localization and Translation Contents 1 2 3 4 5 Introduction Website localization Functional Perspective Business aspects References Abstract Website localization poses new challenges to translators and translation studies. First of all we will look at some central concepts of website localization to avoid misunderstandings. The following paper attempts to clarify the key concepts of localization and to describe this new type of translation. 1 Introduction The following paper deals with the relation between web localization and translation. In German. graphics. we will define and describe the process of website localization and its purpose by focusing on the overall aim of translating or localizing websites. the new term Webauftritt has been created for the English term website. the terminology seems rather clear. Translation studies is well-advised to face up to this new challenge as it has a lot to offer. and vice versa website localization could provide some new insights to translation. Next. Yunker 2003).e. A website consists of a number of documents. When we talk about Webseiten (web pages) or Homepage in German. A website encompasses all web pages which are accessible under a common Web address (domain name) such as www. When we speak of the localization of websites. Esselink 2001. however.petersandrini. It is important to note that the object of localization is a whole website. programs and so on. Today. as there is no such term as website.related aspects of localization. the former being a relatively new form of multilingual service which has not been dealt with adequately so far in translation studies. A locale refers to a © Copyright 2005-2007 by MuTra 131 .

MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Peter Sandrini group of people who share a language. there are specific training courses for localization professionals (LRC). i. A website contains texts in different forms and a task . Nevertheless. therefore.has a century-long history. the process of translation involves linguistic as well as a cultural transfer and the communicative intention or function of the target text is of overall importance. dynamic contents in forums and chat rooms.e. the text still remains a key information assets within a web page. Since hypertext and its features is extensively documented (e. A website contains different types of digital assets which can be texts. 2 Website localization As already stated. however. Localization today is used in conjunction with the terms internationalization. 132 . In the literature there are indications for both assumptions: on the one hand. In addition to these different types of assets. The most outstanding characteristic of web based texts is the cross-linking of texts or their hypertext components. as well as application assets. short chunks of texts are offered to the reader who is free to decide in which sequence s/he will read them or which text chunks are chosen. created by the web surfers themselves. In any case it may be useful for both fields to learn from each other instead of trying to re-invent the wheel on the one side or be reduced to a mere text substitution process within a broader localization concept on the other hand. shopping baskets. and globalization signifies the global design of a product. a country. Seen from a translation studies perspective. In that case translation would then be the broader concept. which means the preparation of a product to make it suitable for efficient localization. i. pictures. associations for professional localizers to support the notion of a new strong localization profession. files which can be accessed only by using proprietary software (e. As translators we may ask ourselves whether translation is a part of localization. just like any other part of the process like project management. usually paired with multimedia contents. Website localization places the text in the background and focuses on multimedia aspects. and on the other hand. as pointed out in Esselink (2000) where the author defines localization as the overall task with translation being part of it. information about transactions (e. a website can be viewed as a container with an address and a domain name on it.g. Website localization is thus defined as the "process of modifying a website for a specific locale" (Yunker 2002: 17).g. This could be a region. Translation. translation training institutes offering courses on localization and translators working in the localization industry even though translation studies may be rather slow in measuring up to the challenges is new field of research. Somers 2003). a specific type of translation. This would imply that the localization professional is in command and the translator acts as a contributor of foreign-language texts. instead. i. Ms-word files) with the web merely used as a means of distribution which is not able to represent the content directly. multimedia files such as audio and video streaming.e.e. or just a language community. sessions in e-commerce) as well as Community Assets. always involves some form of adaptation with respect to the text itself or other items relevant to the document such as graphics etc. a writing system and other properties which may require a separate version of a product. Translation . the website can also contain transactional assets.g. the following is only a very brief summary of its main features: • No sequential entrance to a complete linear text is given. image adaptation or setting up a language gateway. whereas localization is a phenomenon of the last 20 years – maybe just a new name.

On the other side hand there are the client’s goals which concentrate on what the company. user friendliness of the web. 133 . i. we suggest a new definition for website localization referring to the overall purpose of the new language version as the process of modifying a website for a specific locale according to the goals outlined by the client. the size of the webpage is limited. the role of user demands and their consequences on the decisions of the translator.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Peter Sandrini Due to the specific measurements of the computer screen. etc. As there are still some doubts about using controlled languages for websites in view of the heterogeneity of web documents and the strong expressive character of web advertising texts. users have to scroll down. documents. e. therefore. The international marketing strategy does not only decide upon about sales policies in foreign countries but also on image campaigns and publicity. a term used within the framework of the European Community Research Programs eContent and eContentplus. The linguistic characteristics of Web texts have been the object of many investigations: e.if it is longer than the screen.g. authors stress the role of web text features. A website is a medium by which new foreign customers. User demands bring us back to the definition of website localization in which a website should be made linguistically and culturally appropriate to the target locale. depends on the length of a text . With these problems in mind. and expect clear and understandable information and not be culturally offended by language. the localized version of the website. For translation studies. website localization. • Furthermore. A website is a form of online eContent. who investigate the language of e-Commerce-sites.g. Building a multilingual website implies a considerable effort with a clear-cut objective in mind. texts on the WWW are relatively short-lived. investigate the effect of website constraints and user demands on translator's decisions both on the micro and macro level.e. evaluate the product. On the one hand side there are user demands from the ultimate readers of the target text. colors. The readers want to read the web page in their own language. This purpose could be entirely different for the new foreign language website version than that for the source language website which will influence the translation or adaptation process as a whole. institution or individual wants to achieve with the new website version. They are very fast on-line. explore the feasibility of using controlled languages into website design to facilitate translation".Vengadasamy and others (2004). Williams/Chesterman (2002) see the following research areas: "establish the current practice. who coined the term Netspeak for the language of the Internet or smaller scope contributions. • 3 Functional Perspective Some general introductions to translation studies have already tried to include the area of Web localization but with rather short and relatively modest results. David Crystal (2001). esp. but disappear just as fast again with each update. images. If we look at companies and international organizations. and localization of other digital resources such as databases. eContent localization is the translation and cultural adaptation of digital information for local markets and we can distinguish three different types of eContent localization: software localization. and so on. the communicative intention of their websites is closely related to their international marketing strategy. research objectives need to address the assessment of these features in the light of translation processes and their interrelationship on the decisions of the translator.

i. read as follows: Localize/translate in a way that the aims of the client can be successfully implemented with the new foreign-language website The most important factor for an overall translation strategy is to establish the general purpose of the new foreign-language website: What are the aims of the client? Why does he want to set up a foreign language website? What does he expect from it? The source text. Most criticism of the Skopos theory focused on the fact that it is not equally suited for all translational situations. For the localization to be successful it is advisable to specify the client’s purpose of the new website explicitly and have it documented in a translation brief at the very beginning of the localization project. The general guideline for a web localization project should. what kind of products? Is the website meant for customer interaction and customer support? For an international company its international marketing goals can be related to the choice of languages used for the website. Christiane Nord uses the term ‘translation brief’ (Nord 1997) referring to the basic information and instructions supplied in detail by the client. The target text. the new foreign language website and its function are the primary focus. more in general terms.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Peter Sandrini partners or people in general can be reached. not necessarily the IT experts who are responsible for the practical implementation of the website and can be included at a later 134 . Furthermore.e. however. For the success of a localization project the pre-defined objectives of the company for the new website must be met. All this is vital information for the localizer/translator and s/he should insist explicitly on getting this information from the client along with the translation assignment. an overall website publishing strategy has to be set up which has to answer the following questions: Does the website serve publicity reasons? Does the company want to sell products on the web (e-commerce) and if so. An empirical study conducted by a Swedish researcher Theo Schewe (2001: 205) establishes a close link between the marketing policy of a company and the choice of languages for its Web presence. Any correspondence with the source text is of minor importance. the original website is just the point of departure for the localization project. Included in the briefing should be the client and with Her/his organization. Such global strategies not only determine the choice of languages and the design strategies but also have a decisive influence on the translation strategy and can be summarized as follows: Website localization is a function of the international marketing strategy International strategic marketing strategies formulate an international company’s commitments in another country or the expectations from a foreign readership. the management and/or marketing staff. thus. it is obviously of overall importance to take into account the function which „has to be negotiated between the client and the translator“ (Nord 1997: 35). bilingual and multilingual websites. The focus on the communicative intention is nothing new for translators: Functional approaches in translation studies have been stressing this for a long time. International Marketing sets the overall goals of the new website for a foreign market or. i. Within each type. what the new website is for and what should be achieved with the new language version in terms of corporate image or branding for example. for a foreign readership. For website localization. The study presented a classification of “web site language design strategies” where Schewe distinguishes three general types of websites: monolingual. which must be checked with the pre-defined aims of the client. the choice of languages reveals a certain type of marketing strategy that stretches from the domestic marketing strategy with a monolingual website in the native language to the global player strategy with a central website in English or the native language with independent local websites in other languages.e.

The anarchist approach seldom involves any translation as the whole content is produced independently and locally. each using a different design. international marketing experts refine these aims and state a global purpose for each market and the respective foreign language website. and the localizer adapts it taking into account the given purpose for local markets. and a de facto situation exits (cf. The relation between the owner of a website and the web author could pose some problems on the monolingual level which of course can be avoided or at least weakened when the intended purpose of the website is made explicit. a close cooperation between different experts will be necessary as part of the translation process. web authors set up a website. The monarchist approach with central control over the content where content is translated but seldom adapted. less so by the web author who does the practical job of setting up the website and in most cases is an IT expert. below) with three main strategies for the management of multilingual and multicultural content. Steps in this direction are already implemented in the DIN standard 2345 for translation assignments. Another way could be cooperating with the client and discussing general strategies. It is only in the federalist or subsidiary approach that localization becomes relevant as global and regional content must be adapted/localized/translated for use in different countries. but in practice many companies and international organizations lack a global. In a best practices scenario the client has made a strategy explicit according to the conditions above. generally referred to the translation of web pages. Let us look at these de facto strategies employed when organizing a global website according to the three different approaches outlines by Lockwood (2000: 15): 1. an approach in line with traditional translation strategies . regional content is also translated and used in a regional context whereas local content will be produced locally in the local language without the need for translation.with the only exception that hypertext pages (HTML) must be translated.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Peter Sandrini stage. translated and used internationally. consciously chosen strategy for a multilingual web presence. One way of achieving this is by clearly defining the purpose of the translation assignment. The federalist or subsidiary approach which is a compromise between the first two strategies as it integrates global. On the multilingual level. regional and local content (GRL). the easier is the quality control after completion of the localization process. The methodology implemented is unclear. The monarchist approach in translation is prominent: The whole website is translated. In many cases a website has evolved gradually and slowly with the company or with an organization. specifying the translation purpose is a necessity as the purpose determines the translation and localization strategy. The result is a website which is not sensitive to local markets. The clearer the assignment.e. In this case there will be high costs and no corporate strategy. 2. involves a few technical questions regarding the characteristics of HTML-documents with no special change in translation strategy. This however. Whatever the approach of the company may be. The anarchist approach with multiple local sites without coordination. Therefore. i. Global content is produced centrally. Rose Lockwood’s (2000: 15 cf. This approach is typical for bilingual territories and centralized international organizations. the management defines global aims. 135 . the most important aspect of translation as a service provider is to integrate translation as much as possible into the information and publishing cycles of the company or organization. In the translation process. the communicative function is specified by the company or the organization represented by the website. 3.

This is evident. Appling simple Return on Investment (ROI) calculations when planning a web localization could be of great help. translators will deal with just one software environment.s from her/his own company. With the help of a short list of questions the client could be made aware of possible costs and benefits: • Does the new market need your products/services? • Can they afford your products? • How can consumers pay? • Are market growth rate and revenue potential Fig. the translator/localizer may establish a good basis for a medium to long-term relationship with his client . Translation as a cost factor has been discussed within the transaction cost model by Pym (1995 and later) and others: it states that the mutual benefits for the communication partners must be higher than the costs for translation. i. web publishing. where documents will be split up into knowledge items or small chunks of text which can be reused for different purposes. Consequently. translators won't need to interfere with HTML or XML or whichever mark-up language. A terminology data base. a translation memory are tools that must be serviced over a long period of time to become really useful resources. otherwise there would be no more translation assignment. customer support files.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Peter Sandrini 4 Business aspects The economic aspect of translating websites is the most important for the client. that translation technology profits from long term planning and long term investment. in manuals. but it is much less evident that it costs more money. Localization and translation cost money. Translators should be well advised not to leave such economic reasoning to the client. though. It must be stressed. On the other hand there is a convergence of translation and multilingual web publishing in the sense that translation will be integrated into multilingual web publishing. savings in customer support or an increase in e-commerce revenues. GDP-growth rates) • Internet usage – digital divide • Product delivery? • Customer and product support? (staff resources) 136 . because not always is the client well informed about costs and benefits of translation or localization projects. and so on. on line help texts. If done independently of all other authoring and publishing activities.g.s available? (GDP. websites.e. etc. The client needs to get the corresponding economic Fig. for the software will do the job. As content management. It is here that technology comes in and translation technology has indeed a lot to offer. and if multilingual tools are set up within the company or organization. if multilingual support in general is planned for from the beginning on a long term basis. The ROI describes the relation between the investment put into multilingualism and the resulting benefits for the company or organization such as the opening of a new market. terminology databases and translation memory systems integrate into global content management systems (GCMS or GMS). print publishing and database publishing.opening the client's eyes to his role in successful multilingual communication. it costs money if it is integrated into information and publishing cycles. e. The same holds true for a content management system with standardized paragraphs of text and the newer global content management systems with multilingual support incorporating terminology and translation memories. By drawing the clients’ attention to this aspect and by giving them good advice. On the one hand we can see a convergence of content management.

MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Peter Sandrini

• • • •

Cost of website localization? Cost of website maintenance? Compatibility of computer systems? Any legal or regulatory issues?

These questions should always be discussed in a meeting or briefing at the very beginning of a localization project. Although most of these questions are of a purely economic nature, and although the client, the company or the organization, has to find the answers with the help of the respective staff, sales and marketing people, as well as financial advisers, it is the responsibility of a good service provider to underline their importance as a sound basis for the success of the project. In the end the success of a foreign language website - and consequently of the whole localization effort - will be measured by these standards. The localizer has to present himself to the client as a provider of solutions who helps the company achieve its aims and not just as an outsider who costs a lot of money and causes a lot of problems. In order to achieve this, traditional training models and curricula must be adapted to cater for a new image of the localization expert. Defining training requirements in the light of recognized professional practice accounts would also require the integration of the following skills: • Basic knowledge of international marketing • • Business models of localization and multilingual information management Strong emphasis on translation technology (terminology management, translation memory, and content management) as website localization could be a technological challenge for translators.

Summary Localization has evolved in the past 15 years into an important industry with a few global players, whereas translation still remains in many aspects a fragmented field of free-lancers’ website localization poses new challenges to translators and translation studies. In particular, the function of the localized website is closely related to economic and business strategies, hence the overall importance and impact of international marketing on foreign language website creation and consequently on website localization. Translators and localizers have to address these requirements in their work. This makes explicit translation or localization assignments indispensable and includes business models for localization to assure successful translation. The big advantage that translation has is a wide area of academic research, something that localization lacks - at least at this point in time. Therefore, there has to be a convergence between translation studies and localization, or in other words, translation studies must address localization issues, or else we will end up having an academic field of localization studies, independent from translation, which will compete with translation for ever diminishing funding. Website localization, on the other hand, should account for the progress made in translation research and put it into use. The interrelationship of localization and translation, therefore, opens up a new research paradigm.


MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Peter Sandrini

5 References
Crystal, David (2001): Language and The Internet. Cambridge: University Press. DePalma, Donald (2002): Business without Borders. A Strategic Guide to Global Marketing Wiley and Sons. Esselink, Bert (2001): A Practical Guide to Software Localization. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Lockwood, Rose (2000): ‘Have Brand, Will Travel’. In Language International. Bd.Nr. 12/2, 4/2000: 14-16. Lisa (2003): Localization Industry Primer. 2nd edition. Nauert, Sandra (2007): “Translating Websites”. Paper presented at the MuTra Conference ‘LSP Translation Scenarios’, 30 April – 4 May 2007, Vienna (to be published in the Proceedings 2007). O'Hagan, Minako & Ashworth, David (2002): Translation-Mediated Communication in a Digital World. Facing the Challenges of Globalization and Localization. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Nord, Christiane (1997): Translating as a Purposeful Activity. Functionalist Approaches Explained. Manchester: St. Jerome. Pym, Anthony (1995) Translation as a Transaction Cost, Meta 40/4. Bd.Nr. 40/4. 594-605. ------ (2004): The Moving Text. Loaclization, translation and distribution. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Vengadasamy, Ravichandran & Jaludin, Azhar & Hamat, Afendi (2004): ‘Characteristics of Written Text in E-Commerce Websites’. In Internet Journal of e-Language Learning & Teaching. 1(2), July 2004: 15-32. Schewe, Theo (2001): ‘Multilingual Communication in the Global Network Economy’: In Eschenbach, Jutta & Schewe, Theo (eds): Über Grenzen gehen - Kommunikation zwischen Kulturen und Unternehmen. Halden/Norwegen: Hogskolen i Ostfold: 195209. Williams, Jenny & Chesterman, Andrew (2002): The Map. A Beginner's Guide to Doing Research in Translation Studies. Manchester: St Jerome. Yunker, John (2003): Beyond Borders. Web Globalization Strategies. Indianapolis: New Riders Publishing.


EU-High-Level Scientific Conference Series MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings

Nilgin Tanis Polat (Izmir)

Cultural Leeways and Discourses in Narrative Texts
1 2 3 4 5 Narrative texts, culture & discourse and translation The concept of ‘Cultural Leeway’ Examples Summary References

The following study is a summary project statement of my dissertation at Ege University, Turkey. It deals with the translation of discourse in narrative texts and claims that when translating between cultures with different discursive preferences the translator has a certain ‘leeway’ when reproducing the cultural embedding of the source text for target readers. The purpose of this article is to discuss this phenomenon and to illustrate the different communicative preferences between German and Turkish through the examples from the German translation of Yaşar Kemal’s Yer Demir Gök Bakır (1963) and the Turkish translation of Günter Grass’ Die Blechtrommel (1959). As such, it aims to show how German and Turkish differ in the representation of social and emotional relations – a cultural difference that manifests itself strongly in the above novels and their translations. After a brief discussion of the concepts of narrative texts, culture & discourse and translation, the concept of ‘leeway’ is introduced as it manifests itself in the categories ‘personalization’ (expressed by direct address, kinship lexicalizations), ‘emotionalization’ (expressed by the use of swearwords and religious and/or blasphemic expressions), ‘routine formulae’ (figuring deixis and tense), ‘addressee orientation’ (e.g. expressed by direct address) as well as ‘non-verbal’ gestures and their descriptions.


Narrative texts, culture & discourse and translation

According to de Beaugrande/ Dressler (1981:190), narrative texts are texts which organize actions and events in a definite sequential order. Not only the topic itself, but also the way it is communicated is significant, the perspectives expressed, the intervention in the time sequence or the linguistic register of articulation. The term ‘narrative texts’ thus embodies the techniques and forms of describing events. Narrative texts are often called fictional in order to emphasize its difference from the real world. The relationship between the displayed reality and the environment of the reader is an important prerequisite for the comprehension of the fictive reality. In the communication-orientated narrative research, the relationship between the sender and the addressee and the conditions of reception are focused by Czennia (2004:995) who emphasizes that the speech of the narrator and the speech of the characters form two dimensions in a novel: only from this duality the multi-level situation of the narrative develops into the narrating procedure typical of this genre. Both the speech of the narrator and the speech of the characters depend on the content of information, on the author’s cultural ‘system’ and on how this differs with respect to other cultures.

© Copyright 2005-2007 by MuTra


MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Nilgin Tanis Polat

Narrative texts have been positioned as expressive texts within the framework of Reiß’ translation-oriented text typology (1971:38), the expressiveness articulating itself particularly by the dominance of linguistic form and expression. Texts are embedded in certain cultures – this is particularly true of narrative texts – , i. e. they do not only reflect and require a certain technical or material knowledge, but also a knowledge acquired through experience and participation in the source text language and social environment.1 As sender-oriented texts, the individual aesthetic dimension is foregrounded, meaning that we assume that the author’s intention is to reveal his or her own ideas, values and convictions by – consciously or unconsciously - producing an aesthetic effect. The author’s intention to create this aesthetic effect in the reader is assumed to change the perceptions, interpretations and evaluations of the reader although generally no particular target reader type is addressed. Obviously, texts have different effects on individual readers. It must be assumed, however, that some effects are shared by a group of readers (cf. Mudersbach 2002). The interest of this study lies in the question whether ‘culture’, which is here taken to manifest itself in discourse preferences as outlined e.g. by Clyne (1994), House (1996 and 1999) Gerzymisch-Arbogast (1993 and 1997) produces different ‘effects’ in different (cultural) groups and how this understanding influences the translation process. Our hypothesis is that different underlying cultural values in narrative texts require translation procedures that are aware of and account for the potentially different effects on different cultural readers. This will be exemplified by examples of original and translated works with the objective to make the discrepancies in the perception and description of social relations transparent. It is assumed that translations of narrative texts generally reflect the target readers’ interest in the foreign culture underlying the text. Because the narrative text offers foreign experience of a foreign author with a foreign representation: the target language reader is introduced to a product of a foreign culture by the role of the translator who in this respect acts as a mediator. For the translator in his/her interest of establishing communication between members of different cultures, the basic requirement is not only to communicate by language, but also to convey source-cultural values and characteristics to a target-cultural readership. Such information in narrative text is imparted in many ways. While the author is writing texts, s/he produces his/her work under the influence of the discourse norms that control his/her perception. The underlying cultural systems underlying such texts can be made transparent by analysis as described by Bachmann-Medick (1996:7-9), Floros (2003), Ndeffo (2004) and Kim (2005a and b). The translator needs to be aware of these cultural implications and must decide whether s/he wants to either make the reader understand the source-text culture or render a text that is oriented towards the target culture. This conflict in the translator has been known and problematized by numerous translation scholars from bible translation, functional approaches to modern multidimensional translation theories.2 The earliest debates date back to antiquity with Cicero speaking against word for word translation and advocating ’free’ translation, thus becoming the first to describe two translation types (see Kloepfer 1967:23). Schleiermacher in his famous Über die verschiedenen Methoden des Übersetzens (1813) categorized these types as: “either the translator leaves the author alone if possible, and moves the reader towards the author, or s/he leaves the reader alone and moves the author to the reader” (cf Schleiermacher 1967:47). For the translator, as inferred from the quotation above, there is the possibility of either the source language orientation or the target language orientation. This distinction is differently designated in translation theory, philosophy, literature and literary studies (for an overview cf. House 2004:108). Within this framework, House differentiates the two dimensions of overt and covert translation. In the

1 2

For the interaction of knowledge and text cf. Dam et al (2005). Cf. Gerzymisch-Arbogast 2007.


MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Nilgin Tanis Polat

case of the overt translation, House claims that the translated text serves the function of the original text in its cultural framework and discourse. The function of the source text, i.e. the use of the text in a certain context, can remain intact in the case of overt translation. Only a kind of transferred function is identifiable since an overt translation embeds the text into a new social event, gives it a new framework and puts it into a new discourse (cf House 2002:106). In contrast, covert translation pursues the goal of re-creating the function in its own discourse in the translated text in order to manufacture equivalence as far as the cultural context is concerned. Covert translations are pragmatically not marked as the target text language of a source text so that that they function as a second original. Within this framework, House emphasizes the necessity of a cultural filter in the case of the covert translation (House 2002,107): In order to successfully use a cultural filter, the translator must consider cultural acceptance and conditions of both the source-linguistic and the target-linguistic community and translate the target text accordingly. In the case of a covert translation, it is expected that the translator will compensate the culture-specific phenomena; that is, the translator has a certain amount of ‘leeway’ when reproducing source-cultural characteristics into targetcultural characteristics. Culture has long been considered an integral part of translation (Kade 1968, Reiss 1971 and Koller 1979, Hönig/Kußmaul 1982). In the late eighties and beginning of the nineties, its eminent role in translation has been stressed and discussed from many different perspectives by Holz-Mänttäri (1984), Snell-Hornby (1986), Vermeer (1986), Gerzymisch-Arbogast (1997, 1998, 1999 and 2005), Witte (2000), Thome et al (eds) (2002), Floros (2003), Kim (2005a and b). Today we can safely say that the machine translation paradigm of ‘code switching’ and ‘substitution’ has given way to the idea of translation as cultural mediation. This raises many problems ranging from philosophical questions as to the function of culture via its manifestation in texts and its contrastive description. Within the paradigm of literary translation, this conflict has been problematized by Levỳ (1969), who represents a source-text orientated approach. The Poly-System-Theory from Even-Zohar (1979) places the literary text in a broader cultural context and has been accepted and perpetuated by Toury (1980) and the representatives of The Manipulation of Literature (e.g. Hermans 1985), who stand for a context-sensitive approach in translation studies. The theory of the Göttinger Forschungsgruppe around Armin Paul Frank (1988) follows Hermans’ and Toury’s descriptive and target-text orientated approach and have thus contributed to the rejection of ‘prescriptive’ theory building with respect to literary translation in general. The functional approach with its target text orientation (Snell-Hornby 1986, Vermeer 1986) cannot explain or analyse the underlying cultural dimensions of a source text and can thus not solve the problems of transfer to a target culture. Juliane House tackles this problem by understanding translation as the rendering of a text in the source language by a semantically, pragmatically and textually equivalent text in the target language (cf House 2002:103) and emphasizing that a translation is equivalent to the original only when the translation has a function that is equivalent to the function of original text (ibid.). She understands function as the function of the text, as the use of the text in a certain situational context. Based on Halliday (21994) and his systemic functional theory, House develops – on the basis of English and German - a model by which texts, particularly narrative texts, can be analysed and compared in their contextual embedding which reveals differences in the discourse preferences of diverse native speakers (e.g. House 1997, 1998 and 1999). It is within this context that we will establish our notion of cultural leeway.


MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Nilgin Tanis Polat

2 The concept of ‘Cultural Leeway’
Cultural leeway is the ’variation field’ for the translator when translating cultural phenomena from source to target texts in order to achieve covert translation equivalence on a lexical, semantic and pragmatic level. We will illustrate the concept of cultural leeway by the following examples from the German novel Die Blechtrommel published by Günter Grass, and its translation and the Turkish novel Yer Demir Gök Bakır by Yaşar Kemal. Die Blechtrommel was published under the name Teneke Trampet (Cem Yayınevi, 1983) by Kâmuran Şipal for the Turkish readers. The novel, Yer Demir Gök Bakır is translated for the German readers by Cornelius Bischoff under the name Eisenerde, Kupferhimmel (Unionsverlag, 1986). Both narrative texts are published in several editions in the source language and in the target language and have thus reached a large number of readers. The texts are compared using as tertium comparations the categories ‘personalization’, ‘emotionalization’ ‘routine formulae’, ‘addressee orientation’, as well as ‘non-verbal’ gestures and their descriptions. For reasons of space, these categories, which are similar to Juliane House’s discourse preferences established for German-English comparisons (1996, 1999) are not explicated here but are discussed together with their German-Turkish examples.

3 Examples
3.1 Addressee Orientation
In Yer Demir Gök Bakır, the narrator tends to address the reader directly, whereas in its German translation the agent is deleted as follows:
Đşte bu dünyanın aklığına Çukurova güneşi gibi bir de belalı güneş vurmuş, karların üstüne öylesine bir de ipilti çökmüş, göz açıp da bakamazsın. (Kemal 1980 :5) Und auf diese weiße Welt scheint zu allem Überfluß die Sonne so hell, wie sie nur in der Çukurova-Ebene scheint, die Schneedecke glitzert so grell, daß man die Augen nicht offen halten kann. (Kemal 1992:5)

“Göz açıp bakamazsın” is translated word for word in the Turkish version as you cannot keep your eyes open. The Turkish narrator takes the perspective of addressing the reader here, whereas in the German translation the impersonal form, “man” is preferred. The German translator decides on the impersonal form frequently as part of his ‘cultural leeway’. On the contrary, an excerpt from the Blechtrommel:
Man kann eine Geschichte in der Mitte beginnen und vorwärts wie rückwärts kühn ausschreitend Verwirrung anstiften. Man kann sich modern geben, alle Zeiten, Entfernungen wegstreichen und hinterher verkünden oder verkünden lassen, man habe endlich und in letzter Stunde das RaumZeit-Problem gelöst. Man kann auch ganz zu Anfang behaupten, es sei heutzutage unmöglich, einen Roman zu schreiben, dann aber, sozusagen hinter dem eigenen Rücken, einen kräftigen Knüller hinlegen, um schließlich als letztmöglicher Romanschreiber dazustehn. (Grass 1993:12) Bir orta noktadan yola koyularak hikâye etmeye başlayabilirsiniz bir serüveni; sonra geriye olduğu gibi, ileriye doğru atak adımlarla yürüyüp işi karıştırabilirsiniz. Ama çağdaş bir tutumla da davranıp zaman ve uzaklıkların tümü üzerinden bir sünger geçer, hele şükür son anda zaman ve mekân sorununu çözdüğünüzü ilân edebilir ya da ettirebilirsiniz. Ama daha anlatıya başlarken bugün artık bir roman yazılamayacağını ileri sürebilir, ancak sonradan, kendiniz de farketmeksizin ortaya zorlu bir eser koyup varlığı mümkün en son romancı edasıyla boy gösterebilirsiniz. (Grass 2000:10)


MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Nilgin Tanis Polat

The word for word translation of “başlayabilirsiniz” is you can begin and “karıştırabilirsiniz” is translated as you can mix it up and “zaman ve uzaklıkların tümü üzerinden bir sünger geçer, hele şükür son anda zaman ve mekân sorununu çözdüğünüzü ilân edebilir ya da ettirebilirsiniz” is translated as time and distance remains far beyond, thank god you can announce or make it announced that you have solved the problem of time and space and “boy gösterebilirsiniz” is translated word for word as you can stand. The fact that the impersonal form is present also in the Turkish version, but that the translator does not prefer it, is here interpreted as an indication of the tendency that the impersonal form is not common in narrative texts and ’disturbs’ the flow of the speech.

3.2 Emotionalization
When comparing Yer Demir Gök Bakır and its translation we can note that the translator tends to reduce the effect of the blasphemies and rude expressions. Hence, as it is demonstrated in the above quotation, the adjective “belalı” is translated in the German version through conveying its meaning: it is expressed as over-shining sun, whereas in Turkish it is damned sun. In the German version of the narrative text, blasphemies and rude expressions are softened or not translated at all. While in Turkish, those expressions denote a certain closeness and intimacy between the narrator and the reader, the German text appears to be neutral in attitude. Not only the blasphemies, but also most of the emotional expressions in German appear more neutral and objective. For example, in order to underline the emotion, the translator adds punctuation marks missing in the source text:
Am Vormittag hätte man sehen können, wie es die Großmutter verstand, das schlaffe Kraut zu ordentlichen Haufen zu rechen, mittags aß sie ein mit Sirup versüßtes Schmalzbrot, hackte dann letztmals den Acker nach, saß endlich in ihren Röcken zwischen zwei fast vollen Körben. (Grass 1993:12-13) Öğleden sonra görecektiniz anneannemi! Doğrusu o ne beceriklilikti! Elinde tırmık, kurumuş patates yapraklarını güzelce bir araya toplayıp öbekler yapmış, öğleyin üzerine domuz yağı sürdüğü marmelatlı ekmeğini yemiş, derken tarlayı son bir kez çapalamı, nihayet eteklikleri altına, nerdeyse ağzına kadar dolu patates dolu iki sepet arasına çökmüştü. (Grass 2000: 10-11)

Thus, the translation of “Öğleden sonra görecektiniz anneannemi! Doğrusu o ne beceriklilikti!” is You should have seen my grandmother in the afternoon! What a competence it was! The following excerpt also demonstrates how statements in the Turkish translation are emotionally stressed:
Ob aber jener Läufer ein Koljaiczek gewesen, wußte meine Großmutter nicht, entschuldigte ihre Unwissenheit mit dem Feuer vor ihren Stiefelsohlen; das gäbe ihr genug zu tun, das bränne nur mäßig, deshalb könne sie sich auch nicht um andere Leute kümmern, die hier vorbeiliefen oder im Qualm stünden, überhaupt kümmere sie sich nie um Leute, die sie nicht kenne, sie wisse nur, welche es in Bissau, Ramkau, Viereck und in der Ziegelei gäbe – die reichten ihr gerade. (Grass 1993: 19) Ama koşarak yanından geçip giden adam Koljaiczek miydi, bunu bilmiyordu anneannem; bilmemesini de çizmelerinin pençeleri önündeki ateşle bağışlatmaya çalıştı, ateşin yanması zaten yeterince uğraştırıyordu kendisini; baksana, şöyle doğru dürüst yanmayı bilmiyordu meret! Bir de yanıbaşından koşarak geçip giden ya da duman içinde dikilen adamlarla mı ilgilenecekti! Zaten tanımadığı kimseleri hiç merak etmezdi anneannem; bütün tanıdıkları ise Bissau’da, Ramkau’da, Viereck’te ve kiremithanede olanlardı, bu kadarı da kendisine pekâla yetiyordu.(Grass 2000:17)

The translation of “Baksana, şöyle doğru dürüst yanmayı bilmiyordu meret! Bir de yanıbaşından koşarak geçip giden ya da duman içinde dikilen adamlarla mı ilgilenecekti!” can 143

MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Nilgin Tanis Polat

be translated as: Look how this damned thing doesn’t even burn properly! Do you think she will care about the guys running around or the ones standing erect within the smoke! Furthermore, in Turkish, emotions are supported with gestures more generously than in German. For instance, in the first chapter of the novel Yer Demir Gök Bakır, the hands of Hasan and Ummuhan touch one another for six times – this is stressed by the narrator. In Blechtrommel, gestures and facial expressions appear to be subordinate or auxiliary to speech.

3.3 Routine Formulae
A further characteristic of the Turkish discourse in the analyzed texts is the frequent use of idiomatic routine formulae with a religious connotation. In the German narrative texts that were analyzed, those expressions are used more directly. In the first chapter of Yer Demir Gök Bakır, examples of idioms are: “Yoldaş olma namussuza, arsıza. Akıbet başına bela getirir.” (Don’t ever be a companion to the dishonourable and shameless, or else you’ll get into trouble in the end); “Yalnız git, yoldaş olma yüzsüze” (Go by yourself and don’t be a companion to the impudent); “Erkek olmayanın yalanı çoktur” (Those who are not man do lie a lot); “Orospuda iman olmaz, din olmaz.” (Whores do not have neither faith nor religion). In particular, religious expressions like “kurban olayım” (do sacrifice me), “Allahın belası kuş” (God damn bird), “Vallahi billahi söylemem” (I swear to God I will not say it to anybody) are used more frequently in Turkish than in German narrative texts. The following example shows that the translator does not hesitate to add idioms in accordance with the different communicative preferences, although the source text does not include any:
Zugegeben: ich bin Insasse einer Heil- und Pflegeanstalt, mein Pfleger beobachtet mich, läßt mich kaum aus dem Auge; denn in der Tür ist ein Guckloch, und meines Pflegers Auge ist von jenem Braun, welches mich, den Blauäugigen, nicht durchschauen kann. (Grass 1993:9) Ne yalan söyleyeyim, bir akıl ve ruh hastalıkları kliniğinin sakinlerindenim. Bakıcım göz altında tutuyor beni, gözlerini üzerimden pek ayırmıyor, çünkü kapıda bir gözetleme penceresi var ve bakıcımın gözleri o malum kahverengi renkte, ben mavi gözlünün bir türlü içini göremiyor. (Grass 2000:7)

The word “zugegeben” is translated into Turkish with a routine formula, i.e. it is translated word for word as why should I lie. This routine formula is employed in order to attract the attention of the addressee and express sympathy. At the same time, this routine formula arouses a feeling of compassion towards the protagonist, which does not exist in the German version. Moreover, also the morphologic structure causes a discrepancy between German and Turkish. In Turkish, tense and person can be in the verb as suffix. It is left to the speaker whether subject and time are additionally expressed or not. However, as with the example “seni seviyorum” the agent of the action is often not overtly told by the pronoun, “I”. Thus, the language achieves a more dynamic style through the possibility of expressing more with few words: “vazgeçtim” becomes I changed my mind or “Ummuhanı göremedi” becomes he could not see Ummuhan. In this respect, thanks to the possibility to convey the subject within the verb, the narrator does not have to repeat the subject and cause monotony in the flow of the language. The ’variation field’, allowed in the Turkish text, is missing in German. Therefore, if the translator additionally utters the pronoun, the meaning is over-stressed and the subject becomes the central issue of the sentence and causes a distance between the participants of the conversation. The following excerpt from Blechtrommel shows that the translator avoids the additional reference to the subject in order not to over-emphasize the agent: 144

Most blasphemies (but also other emotional expressions) are rather softened or omitted in German making the text more neutral. whereas the use of the rude expressions in Turkish indicate a certain closeness and even intimacy between the narrator and the reader. der Rest wurde im Nachttischchen versorgt. Furthermore. the agent is more often absent. the subject does not appear as an independent word in contrast to the source text. esnek paketle. gerisini komodinin gözüne tıktım. with neighbours. etc. Furthermore.uncle Husband of the sister or the aunt (sister of the mother) . it can be stated that there are more possibilities in Turkish to express kinship than in German. the grandmother in the Turkish translation is not called “büyükanne”.mother’s mother grandmother .aunt sister of the mother . Zehn Blatt zählte ich ab. the systems and the text level – the individual is the centre of attention. The following table illustrates this: Turkish Dayı Amca Enişte Yenge Teyze Hala Anneanne Babaanne Abla Ağabey German brother of the mother . Peki.on both levels.uncle brother of the father . den Füllfederhalter fand ich in der Schublade neben dem Fotoalbum: Er ist voll an seiner Tinte soll es nicht fehlen. içi dolu. albümün yanıbaşında duruyor. Above all. although there is the possibility to verbalize the subject in the Turkish text as it is in German. 4 Summary The comparison of the above texts has shown the following differences in communicative preferences: particularly social and interpersonal relations show much less diversity in the English-German language pair than in the German-Turkish texts under investigation. whether expressed verbally or by body 145 . it can be generally determined that in German one swears less than in Turkish. Finally. it appears that the description of gestures and facial expressions seems to be auxiliary in German while they are central in the Turkish texts. yani mürekkep de tamam. Dolmakalem çekmecede. This seems to be in contrast to German where . The Turkish narrator tends to speak directly to the reader while in the German translation. içinden on yaprak sayıp aldım.father’s mother elder sister elder brother This differentiation shows that Turkish language offers a greater variety for kinship expressions.uncle wife of the uncle (brother of the father) . Only by adding the suffix the agent reveals himself. The translator decides to use this cultural leeway in the above mentioned form.aunt sister of the father . Hence.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Nilgin Tanis Polat Nicht allzu lange hob und wog ich den zäh flexiblen Packen.aunt grandmother . wie fange ich an? (Grass 1993:11) Elimle terazileyip tartarak fazla oyalanmadım katı. older persons. but “anneanne”. The translator has more cultural leeway due to the Turkish language system and resources. which carries the meaning of the mother’s mother. addressee orientation in Turkish is more strongly stressed in contrast to the German text. This goes along with the stronger emphasis on verbalizing social relationships in narrative texts: social relations with family members. ama nasıl başlamalı? (Grass 2000:9) In the Turkish translation. Also. The Turkish narrator takes the perspective of the reader whereas impersonal forms are preferred in the translation of the German texts. social relationships.

Göttingen: Erich Schmidt. 23-30. Helle V.: Vervuert. ---. Tübingen: Narr. VI. Sue Ellen (eds) Scientific and Technical Translation. In Mayer. Harald (ed.(2007): “Introducing Multidimensional Translation”. Poetics Today. This would open up a totally new field of research with the challenges outlined in this volume (cf. Daniel & House. Felix (ed. 21-51. In Wright. Juliane and Rothkegel.(1999): “Kohärenz und Übersetzung: Wissenssysteme. 213-233. Klaus (1998): Methoden des wissenschaftlichen Übersetzens. (= American Translators Association Scholarly Monograph Series. & Engberg. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Nilgin Tanis Polat language seem to be a more important and frequent element in Turkish texts when compared to German. Heinz (eds) Modelle der Translation – Models of Translation. Wolfgang U. Gerzymisch-Arbogast 2007). Neuwied: Luchterhand. ---. 287-310. Frank. Floros. Heidrun (1993): “Contrastive Scientific and Technical Register as a Translation Problem”. Tübingen: Niemeyer. (= Jahrbuch Übersetzen und Dolmetschen. 987-1007. 77-106. -----. In Kittel.). 3/2003). Vol. Hildesheim: Olms. 1/1999). Seen from a multidimensional perspective this may mean that while these differences may be inconspicuous in written texts. Vol. Frankfurt a. 5 References Bachmann-Medick. Itamar (1979): “Polysystem Theory”. IXXIII. Norbert & Hermans. Günter (1959/1993): Die Blechtrommel. Werner & Lambert. Cultural Values in Discourse. (1981): Einführung in die Textlinguistik.Saarbrücken 26 May 2005. de Beaugrande. Doris (1996): Kultur als Text. Harald & Frank.) GB Die Literarische Übersetzung.(2005): “Multidimensionale Translation“. & Wright. Grass. they may well be compensated through the visual channel in films. (= UTB 1990).M: Fischer. Frankfurt/M. -----. Dam. Festschrift für Albrecht Neubert. In Gerzymisch-Arbogast. Armin Paul & Greiner.& Mudersbach. Ein internationales Handbuch zur Übersetzungsforschung. No. -----.1. Proceedings of the Marie Curie Euroconferences MuTra ‘Challenges of Multidimensional Translation’ .(1997): “Der Leserbezug in Sigmund Freuds psychoanalytischen Schriften im Spiegel der englischen Übersetzungen“. ihre Repräsentation und Konkretisierung in Original und Übersetzung“. Die anthropologische Wende in der Literaturwissenschaft. Georgios (2003): Kulturelle Konstellationen in Texten. Leland D. Tübingen: Narr (= Jahrbuch Übersetzen und Dolmetschen. Czennia.) 20 Jahre Transforum. Zur Beschreibung und Übersetzung von Kultur in Texten. Tübingen/Basel: Francke.1/2. Theo & Koller. Heidrun (eds) (2005): Knowledge Systems and Translation. Michael (1994): Intercultural Communication at Work. In Wotjak. Stand und Perspektiven ihrer Erforschung. Armin Paul (1988): “Einleitung“ in Kittel. José & Paul. Annely (eds) Wege der Übersetzungsund Dolmetschforschung. Berlin/ New York: de Gruyter. Tel Aviv. Heidrun & Gile. Bärbel (2004): “Erzählweisen in literarischer Prosa und ihre Übersetzung“. New York: SUNY. Robert-Alain & Dressler. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Gerzymisch-Arbogast. Jan & Gerzymisch-Arbogast. Gert & Schmidt. Even-Zohar. 146 . videos and DVDs. Fritz (eds) Übersetzung Translation Traduction. Clyne.

& Kußmaul. Tübingen: Francke.und Dolmetschforschung.169-225. Kurt (eds) Sprache(n) in der Wissensgesellschaft. Hönig. Halliday. and Gerzymisch-Arbogast. ----. Frankfurt a. London: Croom Helm. Ein Lehr.(2005b) “Kultursysteme als Wissenssysteme: Kulturelle Konstellationen in Text und Translation“. Katharina (1971): Möglichkeiten und Grenzen der Übersetzungskritik. Jörn & Gerzymisch-Arbogast. Übersetzung braucht Kultur (Modell und Methode)“. 2nd ed. In Gerzymisch-Arbogast. 155-169. (=Jahrbuch Übersetzen und Dolmetschen. München: Fink.5). Werner (1979): Einführung in die Übersetzungswissenschaft.(1986/1992): Eisenerde. ----.Translation.(2004): “Zwischen Sprachen und Kulturen“. Ndeffo. Istanbul: Tekin. Kade. Justa (1984): Translatorisches Handeln. Levỳ. Kloepfer. Mudersbach. Heidelberg: Quelle & Meyer. Jan & Dam. Kupferhimmel. In Hellinger.M. Juliane (1996): “Contrastive Discourse Analysis and Misunderstanding: the Case of German and English”. Joanna & Kalina.2. 107-125. Heidrun & Rothfuß-Bastian.(2002) “Möglichkeiten der Übersetzungskritik“. Ulrich (eds) Contrastive Sociolinguistics. House. Zur 147 . Tübingen: Narr. London: Edward Arnold. 101-109. Klaus (2002): “Kultur braucht Übersetzung. Juliane & Rothkegel.K. ----. Kongressberichte der 34. Wolfgang & Vogel. Michael A. Koller. Reiß.. Leipzig: Verlag Enzyklopädie (= Beihefte zur Zeitschrift ‚Fremdsprachen’ 1). Paul (1982): Strategie der Übersetzung. In Best. Berlin/ New York: de Gruyter. 43-54. Rolf (1967): Die Theorie der literarischen Übersetzung. Frankfurt: Lang. Berlin/ New York: Mouton de Gruyter. Dorothee (eds) Übersetzung. Daniel & House. 345-361. Kim. Kategorien und Kriterien für eine sachgerechte Beurteilung von Übersetzungen. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann. Jiri (1969): Die literarische Übersetzung. Tübingen: Narr. Bd. Sylvia (eds) Übersetzen und Dolmetschen. 62-88. Hermans. Tübingen: Narr. Theorie und Methode. (= Jahrbuch Übersetzen und Dolmetschen Bd. Theorie einer Kunstgattung. 7-15. ----. Klaus (eds) Kontrast und Äquivalenz. ----(1998): “Kontrastive Pragmatik und interkulturelle Kompetenz im Fremdsprachenunterricht“. Helsinki: Sumomalainen Tiedeakatemia. Sabine & Kohn. In Albrecht. (21994): An Introduction to Functional Grammar. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Angewandte Linguistik (GAL) e. Kemal.und Arbeitsbuch. Romanisch-deutscher Sprachbereich. München: Max Hueber. Theo (1985): “Introduction”. Istanbul: Cem. Heidrun (eds) Knowledge Systems and Translation. Bd. Heidrun (eds) Kultur und Übersetzung: methodologische Probleme des Kulturtransfers (= Jahrbuch Übersetzen und Dolmetschen. Heidrun & Gile.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Nilgin Tanis Polat ----.V. Mary (1986): Übersetzungswissenschaft eine Neuorientierung. Hans G. In Hermans. In Thome. Holz-Mänttäri. In Engberg. Tübingen: Narr. 1). Gisela & Giehl. Young-Jin (2005a): “Cultural Constellations in Text and Translation”. Alexandre Tene (2004): (Bi)kulturelle Texte und ihre Übersetzung. 2001). In Börner. In Braun. Mainz 2003. Marlis & Ammon.Traduction.) The Manipulation of Literature: Studies in Literary Translation. -----. Beiträge zu Sprachvergleich und Übersetzung. Yaşar (1963/1980): Yer Demir Gök Bakır. 255-273. Annely (eds): Wege der Übersetzungs. Helle V. Theo (ed. Zürich: Unionsverlag. Snell-Hornby. Claudia & Gerzymisch-Arbogast. Otto (1968): Zufall und Gesetzmäßigkeit in der Übersetzung.(1999): “Zur Relevanz kontrastiv-pragmatischer und interkultureller Diskursanalysen für das Fachübersetzen“. Tübingen: Narr.: Athenäum-Verlag. Neue Forschungsfragen in der Diskussion.(1983) Teneke Trampet. TTCP Series.

Thome. Tanis Polat. Izmir. Tel Aviv: Porter Institute. 2001). In Snell-Hornby. Begriffliche Grundlegung und Didaktisierung. Toury.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Nilgin Tanis Polat Integrierung von Theorie und Praxis. Nilgin (2006): Kulturelle Spielräume und Diskurse in narrativen Texten im Lichte der literarischen Übersetzung unpublished dissertation.) Übersetzungswissenschaft eine Neuorientierung. Heidrun (2000): Die Kulturkompetenz des Translators. Vermeer. Gideon (1980): In Search of a Theory of Translation. Tübingen: Francke. Mary (ed. Ege University. 148 . Tübingen: Francke. Bd. Witte. (1986) “Übersetzen als kultureller Transfer“. Hans J.2. Tübingen: Narr (= Jahrbuch Übersetzen und Dolmetschen. Tübingen: Stauffenburg. 30-53. Zur Integrierung von Theorie und Praxis. Gisela et al (eds) (2001): Kultur und Übersetzung: methodologische Probleme des Kulturtransfers.

Gabriele Mack and Peter Mead. Vienna 30th April . In other words.first 3 The other members of the Directionality Research Group are Mariachiara Russo.4th May 2007. highlighting both research and pedagogical applications of this “multidimensional” tool comprising video. which can be retrieved. the authors illustrate the various stages of development of the EPIC corpus. The main research interest of the group is the study of interpreters’ strategies across different language directions (directionality) and language-pair related difficulties. audio and written materials. Claudio Bendazzoli can be identified as the author of (3). Edited by Sandra Nauert. In January 2004 a research group on corpus-based interpreting studies was set up in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies in Translation. Elio Ballardini. Languages and Cultures of the University of Bologna at Forlì. Silvia Bernardini. in order to study conference interpreters’ strategies across different language directions (directionality) and language-pair 1 Although the present article is the result of a joint effort. In this paper. The EPIC web designers are Lorenzo Piccioni and Eros Zanchetta. in order to create an electronic parallel corpus with source and target speeches in Italian.2 1 Introduction In January 2004 a research group on corpus-based interpreting studies (the Directionality Research Group3) was set up in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies in Translation. and (5.EU-High-Level Scientific Conference Series MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Claudio Bendazzoli & Annalisa Sandrelli (Forlì. and (5. Bologna)1 An Approach to Corpus-Based Interpreting Studies: Developing EPIC (European Parliament Interpreting Corpus) Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Introduction Methodological issues in interpreting research The EPIC multimedia archive The EPIC corpus Research and pedagogical applications Conclusions References Abstract Empirical research on simultaneous interpreting is hampered by the problem of collecting sufficient material (recordings of source speeches and interpreted target speeches) for the testing of hypotheses and validation of existing theories. Annalisa Sandrelli/Claudi Bendazzoli. The EPIC corpus . whereas Annalisa Sandrelli is the author of (1).euroconferences. (2). Proceedings of the third Mutra Conference ‘LSP Translation Scenarios’.1). © Copyright 2005-2007 by MuTra 149 . (4). corpora have long been awaited in the field of Interpreting Studies. selected and analyzed by using corpus linguistics techniques.2). Marco Baroni. 2 For an update on investigations on the basis of the EIPC corpus cf. English and Spanish. Cristina Monti. Saarbrücken: www. The Conclusions (6) were jointly drafted. Languages and Cultures (SITLeC) of the University of Bologna at Forlì.

The potential research applications of the EPIC corpus are presented in (5. recordings of conference speeches and interpreted target speeches.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Claudio Bendazzoli & Annalisa Sandrelli related aspects. must be taken into account in order to design a suitable research question and obtain valid results (Shlesinger 1998b:3-4): 150 . Shlesinger (1998a) called for the development of parallel and comparable corpora for interpreting studies. is currently being compiled and analyzed (Monti et al. An electronic parallel corpus of source and target speeches in Italian.1). forthcoming. researchers interested in creating interpreting corpora are faced with several methodological and practical challenges (Cencini 2002). whereas (5. Kalina 1994). It is equally essential that the research goals be clearly defined and delimited from the start. Corpus-based research is already a well-established branch of Translation Studies. these studies are based on manual analysis of the data. isolated aspects of interpreting. as is briefly discussed in (2). i. comparable corpora of original and interpreted speeches in the same language could be queried to investigate the characteristics of interpreted language.e. named EPIC (European Parliament Interpreting Corpus). Moreover. However. section 6 presents our conclusions and future prospects for the project. whereas section 4 describes the characteristics of the EPIC corpus. English and Spanish. 2 Methodological issues in interpreting research The available literature on interpreting can be broadly categorized either as observational studies or controlled experiments (Gile 1994. The most important ones are the preparation of a rigorous research design and the suitability of the material for analysis. in that transcripts are not machine-readable: this means that it is not possible to fully exploit the potential offered by the software applications developed by corpus linguists and already widely-used in corpus-based translation studies. However. Gile 1997. observational studies offer the chance of seeing all the factors at play in a real working situation. Section 3 outlines how the EPIC multimedia archive was created. 2000. In an influential article published in 1998. In her opinion. but they are hampered by the problem of collecting sufficient high-quality data. who are not always keen to collaborate in what they perceive as attempts to evaluate the quality of their work (Cencini 2002. namely its homogeneity. in the present paper our focus is precisely on collecting and analyzing genuine empirical data from working contexts. Shlesinger points out that the complexity of the interpreting process. one individual interpreter’s performance in a single conference (or even part of a conference). Clearly. Difficult access to recordings is accompanied by a number of methodological obstacles. in order for a study to be methodologically sound. Researchers are often refused permission to record conferences by speakers and/or organizers (for confidentiality reasons) and by interpreters themselves. On the other hand. particularly as regards interpreters’ strategies and interpreting norms. e. Experimental studies are usually carried out to study specific.2) explores the teaching applications of the EPIC multimedia archive. On the other hand. The chosen method was the application of corpus analysis techniques to interpreting data. parallel corpora of source and target speeches could be used to test and validate existing theories on interpreting. Finally. several so-called “corpus-based” interpreting studies of the last few years contain analyses of very small sets of data.g. Sandrelli and Bendazzoli 2005 forthcoming). whereas corpus-based interpreting studies as a discipline is still in its infancy. As regards homogeneity. experimental conditions and the choice of subjects. Indeed. materials and tasks are extremely important. Shlesinger 1998b). with its many variables.

e. etc. by adding another role. and so on. etc. or whether the service is being provided for a large audience for whom the target language is a foreign language. duration. Other important variables when analyzing an interpreted event are related to the speech. speakers. slides. It presents merely an overview of the many aspects which must be borne in mind when collecting and analyzing interpreting data. and degree of intertextuality with the other speeches in the same conference and with external sources. They may be experienced speakers or first-timers. an interpreter. that is. topic. The quality of the interpreting service may be influenced by their health conditions.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Claudio Bendazzoli & Annalisa Sandrelli To establish ecological validity and to arrive at meaningful findings. Shlesinger (1998b) presents a review of the available research carried out on the variables related to the modality of interpreting. prosodic features. their levels of expertise may vary according to training and experience. and so on. All of these figures determine the characteristics of the conference and therefore have an impact on the interpreting service. settings and interpreters. speech presentation parameters and parameters related to numbers and figures. A very detailed classification of text types comes once again from Alexieva (1994) who identifies several parameters. so as to ensure that measurements in terms of the chosen dependent variable(s) are indeed reliable indicators of whatever one wishes to measure. who splits the Client role into two different figures. participants.4 4 Another interesting text type classification is the one suggested by Hönig (2002). Audience composition is also important. who is seldom physically present in the conference but provides the necessary financial means for the event. including the type of event.). the sponsor. input rate (source language speaker’s delivery pace). they may be expressing themselves in their own language or in a foreign language. source language listeners and target language listeners (or receivers). preparation (which in turn is influenced by the time and materials available to them before the event). a speaker (or sender). as well as cohesion and coherence criteria. including mode of production. noise levels. room layout and visibility conditions from the booths. In a conference interpreting situation the independent variables are manifold. The degree of variability is very high: just to give an example. Some of the independent variables regard the participants in a conference interpreting situation. i.). Along similar lines. which was developed for teaching purposes. at a fast or slow speed. Their accent may be marked (foreign or regional) or standard. use of non-verbal information (visual information. videos. and many more factors. The present paper does not discuss all of these parameters in detail. its information density. to provide a set of objective grades of difficulty of speeches used in training. 151 . The model incorporates criteria related to speech topic and structure and students’ expected knowledge of the topic in question. Gile (1995) talks about a client (the person or organization that requests the professional services of an interpreter). spatial and temporal constraints and the goal of the event. Their style may be formal or casual. one must control as many of the independent variables as possible. the initiator (the institution or body that organizes the conference) and the client (the party entrusted with the actual organization work). functional content. speakers may express their own ideas or be there on behalf of someone else. whether the interpreter is translating for a small group of people who are all native speakers of the target language. Russo (1999) expands the classification suggested by Pöchhacker. They may deliver an impromptu speech or may read a written script. working conditions (the quality of the equipment. which in turn influences text types and topics. text type and textbuilding strategies. Alexieva (1997) presents a classification of interpreted events on the basis of broad parameters. to speeches. including mode of delivery and production. As regards interpreters. the degree of technicality of the speech.

if not experience. Section 3 describes how the material was collected and organized in the EPIC multimedia archive. Our research project. in that they use the same equipment and booths. efforts were made in order to keep any extra material that was “unintentionally” recorded but might prove useful for different applications other than research (see 5. This means that we were able to record both the original speeches and the interpreters’ target speeches in Italian. and EbS authorizes viewers to use it for research and educational purposes. Consequently. the fixed structure of debates. speech duration and so on can be controlled when analyzing the material. 3 The EPIC multimedia archive As was explained in section 2. together with information on speakers and speeches (see 3. with similar degrees of expertise. they all work into their “A” language (i. in order to create EPIC it was necessary to collect the materials and organize them in a multimedia archive. The recorded material was subsequently transcribed for later analysis (see 3. this satellite TV channel enables viewers to select different sound outputs for different EU languages.1). but there are plans to upload it to an Internet server to enable external researchers to access the audio and video clips. topics. As regards the methodological aspects mentioned above. this type of material seemed to offer a high degree of homogeneity and was therefore considered suitable for our research purposes (see 5. as well as the EPIC corpus.1 Recording the EP debates The EP plenary sittings were recorded off the EbS news channel. the homogeneity of the material under analysis is ensured by the institutionalized setting in which the debates take place.2). are all professionals who have passed a strict selection procedure. Creating the multimedia archive involved a series of challenges. English and Spanish. is an attempt to tackle these difficulties by selecting appropriate materials and processing them by using corpus analysis techniques. The material is in the public domain. etc.3).e. four satellite TV + video recorder workstations were used for each plenary sitting to obtain a recording of the original sound channel (abbreviated as “org”). the EP debates are published in the verbatim reports available on the European Parliament website.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Claudio Bendazzoli & Annalisa Sandrelli The above cursory glance at some of the variables involved in an interpreted event have highlighted the main obstacles hampering interpreting research. The multimedia archive is currently stored on the hard disk of a dedicated machine.1). for their part. all EP interpreters enjoy similar working conditions. 3. Thus. Moreover. ranging from recording the material. Clearly. such as the rules for the allocation of speaking time to MEPs (Members of the European Parliament). Specific procedures are consistently followed. the Europe by Satellite (EbS) TV channel enables viewers to select different sound channels for different EU languages. EP interpreters. to choosing file formats. into their mother tongue) and they have access to the same information sources to prepare before plenary sessions. In our study. In short. text types. Moreover. storing the files and so on. it is possible to listen to the original speakers or to the interpreters working in the various booths. and 152 . As is explained in more detail in (3.3). The practical problem of access to interpreting data was solved by choosing the European Parliament (EP) plenary sessions. When the simultaneous interpreting service is available. Moreover. The EPIC multimedia archive comprises digital video and audio clips of both original and interpreted speeches. which has resulted in the creation of the EPIC corpus and the EPIC multimedia archive.

resolution = 8 bit). The original speakers’ recordings are converted into digital video files by using Pinnacle Studio (9. probably “. As a consequence. Following the EbS schedule. The chosen format is the “. or it may be restricted to English. as is being done in other institutions (see for example de Manuel Jerez 2003. a video-capture and editing software program. in order to easily select the sections to be studied. The chosen format for the video files is “. since the images on the videotapes are exactly the same (i.e. which would not affect audio quality for users. As was mentioned in (3). When the project reaches that stage.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Claudio Bendazzoli & Annalisa Sandrelli recordings of the English. Carabelli 2003. English and Spanish. the plenary speakers). the “.mp3”. the EbS broadcasting schedule includes press conferences and stock footage which European TV channels can use when reporting on EU affairs. one video file (the original debate in which all the EU languages may be used as official languages) is thus obtained. French and/or German. The multimedia archive also contains the full recordings of the part-sessions with speeches potentially in all the other EU languages (depending on the MEPs who took the floor on that particular day).3 outlines how the material under study was transcribed and provides some useful suggestions on how to ease and speed up the transcription process by using speech recognition programs.wav” clips will be converted into a lighter format. hesitations.2 Digitizing the recordings The videotapes with the recordings of the original speakers are being digitized as video files.0. audio clips of the corresponding interpreted versions into two of the three languages involved and the transcripts of both types of spoken material. The transcription process was one of the most challenging parts of the study. covering 5 part-sessions held from February to July 2004. Section 3. English and Spanish and their corresponding interpreted versions are selected and saved as individual clips. However. In some cases. etc. Indeed.0). Gran et al. it was decided to store it in a separate archive for pedagogical purposes. whereas our interest lies in audio information (i. the interpreted speeches are digitized as audio files. together with three audio files containing the same speeches simultaneously interpreted into English. Some 153 . as well as the EP part-sessions. 4-hour videotapes were used. a sound editor. Italian and Spanish. The recordings of the interpreted speeches are digitized by using Cool Edit-Pro 2. as visual information is potentially useful for later analysis of the corpus. Italian and Spanish sound channels (that is. or not be available at all.e. 140 videotapes in total. All the recordings thus obtained had to be digitized. the interpreters working in the three booths – indicated as “int”).). as well as the recordings of a number of press conferences. which ensures very good audio quality for possible future studies of prosodic features (distribution of pauses. 2002). When the digitization process of a video tape with the full recording of a plenary sitting has been completed. recording sessions were not monitored. all the original speeches made in Italian.mpeg1”. resulting in most videotapes containing materials other than EP sittings too. Overall.000. By contrast. amounting to 28 tapes for each plenary part-session: overall. channel = mono. The digitization process is still ongoing. several press conferences were “unintentionally” recorded too. the interpreters’ performances). there are plans to upload the EPIC archive to a dedicated Web server from which researchers will be able to download the clips.wav” format (sample rate = 32. the simultaneous interpreting service is provided for all EU languages. About 2 video tapes per day per language were needed. Though such material is not directly linked to the EPIC project. the EPIC multimedia archive includes video clips of all the source language speakers in Italian. 3. For each plenary sitting.

3 Transcription Once the video and audio digital clips are ready. gender. transcribing spoken material is a demanding and time-consuming task. political function. Extra-linguistic data are recorded in a specially-designed header with information about the speech (e. available on the Internet. so that anybody would be able to use the EPIC material for their studies. The speeches were delivered during EP plenary sittings by MEPs. mispronounced words and ungrammatical structures.) and the speaker (e. an interpreting corpus in the technical sense of the word (as used in corpus linguistics). Therefore. and by guests from EU and non-EU countries. the official verbatim report of each EP sitting. with a minimum amount of linguistic and paralinguistic information (Shlesinger 1998a). etc.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Claudio Bendazzoli & Annalisa Sandrelli of the latter feature one or more interpreted versions: all this material is archived and classified for future studies and pedagogical applications.g. All the target (interpreted) speeches have to be transcribed from scratch. The interpreted speeches were produced by the EP interpreters working during those sittings. the transcripts must be machine-readable. Speech recognition software programs (Dragon Naturally Speaking and IBM Via Voice) are used to obtain the preliminary drafts which later undergo a revision process. This mechanism also allows for fast selection of the materials for teaching purposes (see 5. As we are trained conference interpreters. that is to say. punctuation is eliminated from the transcripts. English and Spanish). is used as a basis. the material must be transcribed. These search parameters allow users to query only a section of the corpus by selecting speeches on the basis of speech and/or speaker characteristics.5 The material in EPIC is transcribed with a view to building a large amount of data which can then be analyzed automatically. in three languages (Italian. duration. 4 The EPIC corpus One of the first responses to the practical and methodological challenges described in §2 is EPIC. However. 5 A fuller account of transcription methods and conventions used in EPIC can be found in Monti et al. efforts were made to ensure that the transcripts were also user-friendly.g. for example) are re-inserted once again whilst listening to the recordings. Moreover. that is to say. The speech recognition programs are trained to recognize our voices. we apply the shadowing technique (Schweda Nicholson 1990. The speech features which EP officials routinely correct in the verbatim reports (unfinished sentences. nationality. in order to process and analyze it. The header fields are also used to set the search parameters in the EPIC web interface (see 4). by European Commission and European Council representatives. an electronic collection of transcripts of European Parliament speeches and their interpreted versions.e. mode of delivery. We have developed a “transcription procedure” that consists in producing a draft transcript very rapidly. we listen to the recording and repeat aloud what the interpreter says at the same time. (forthcoming). average speed. 3. etc) in each transcript. In order to produce the preliminary draft of the source speeches. which is then revised several times until it becomes a final draft. i. by the EP President and Vice Presidents. 154 . we decided to produce very basic orthographic transcripts. and produce a draft transcript automatically. As was mentioned in section 1. Lambert 1992).2). name.

based on the header fields contained in each transcript.3% 20. of speeches 81 17 21 17 21 81 21 81 17 357 total word count 42705 6765 14468 6708 12995 35765 12833 38435 7073 177748 % of EPIC 24% 3. Monti et al.7 6 7 http://sslmitdev-online. Other part-sessions (two in March. either in the whole corpus or by restricting the search through the use of speechand speaker-related search filters. Thanks to these filters. one part-session (February 2004) is available for study. namely 3 sub-corpora of source texts (original speeches) and 6 sub-corpora of target texts (simultaneously interpreted speeches). speech length.2% 21. which enables users to carry out simple and advanced queries by using the CQP query language of CWB (Bendazzoli et al 2004. Then. EPIC is a trilingual corpus and each source speech in one language (from among Italian. speech mode of delivery. In order to make automatic analysis possible.1% 7. 155 . the material is encoded by using the IMS Corpus Work Bench platform (Christ 1994). in that it will be expanding over time as more data is added to it. such as speakers’ political function.unibo. forthcoming).it/corpora/corpora. duration. and so on.8% 7. Table 1 shows the structure of the corpus and its present size: sub-corpus Org-en Org-it Org-es Int-it-en Int-es-en Int-en-it Int-es-it Int-en-es Int-it-es TOTAL Tab. namely the Treetagger for the English language. By date. country of origin. see Monti et al.6% 4% 100% Composition of EPIC Finally. EPIC is not a single corpus.sslmit. one in April and one in July 2004) are being processed and will be added to the corpus as they become available. and most importantly. The corpus can be queried through a dedicated web interface that is available on the Forlì School for Translators and Interpreters’ development website. corresponding to about 18 hours of transcribed material. hosting a number of resources for linguists. (forthcoming).php For more details on the tagging process and the development of the EPIC web site. In this sense. EPIC is machine-readable. but is made up of a collection of 9 sub-corpora.2% 3. English and Spanish) is accompanied by the corresponding target versions in the other two languages. (2004) for the Italian language and Freeling for the Spanish material. translators and terminologists6: The EPIC web interface enables users to carry out queries to retrieve and analyze material of interest. it is possible to restrict queries on the basis of specific characteristics. As was previously mentioned. to which 6 sub-corpora of aligned texts will be added as a next step in the project. as well as the available search filters. 1 n.8% 8.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Claudio Bendazzoli & Annalisa Sandrelli EPIC is an open corpus. a combination of taggers proposed by Baroni et al. the corpus is POS-tagged and lemmatized by using specific taggers.

thus allowing for studies that compare original English. “to distinguish between what is language-specific. one problem is that one will rarely find several interpreted versions of the same text. considering the main research interest of the group. Generally speaking. Indeed. use of prefixes and suffixes. such explorations of the EPIC corpus may not only reveal interesting characteristics of the material itself. as pointed out by Kalina (1994:227): “In studying real-life conditions and professional interpeting [sic]. since EPIC transcripts are tagged. “Interpreted English” can then be further analyzed to see whether there are any differences depending on the source language (in our case. but may also shed light on the differences between translation and interpreting. the multilingual and multidirectional nature of the EPIC corpus will enable us to focus on the possible differences depending on the language pair (between two Romance languages or one Romance and one Germanic language) and language direction (from a foreign language into the native language or vice versa). i. six more sub-corpora of aligned speeches will become available. collocations . it is useful to turn to translations of the same source texts into a variety of languages”. Once EPIC reaches larger dimensions and the various sub-corpora are of matching sizes. directionality. they can be searched not only on the basis of word forms.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Claudio Bendazzoli & Annalisa Sandrelli 5 Research and pedagogical applications 5. a fact which makes direct comparison impossible”. it will be possible to provide results that are based on statistical measures and corroborate hypotheses on the basis of a significant number of occurrences of a given feature. but also on the basis of the corresponding parts of speech. the creation of a multilingual parallel corpus of interpreted speeches and their corresponding source speeches also offers the opportunity of comparing more translations of the same text. concordances (Partington 2001:47). Most interpreting research is still based on small case studies which are conducted through manual analysis or exploit semi-automatic analysis in very limited terms. for example. The present level of transcription and annotation offers various research opportunities. such as studying lexical patterns. EPIC can be explored either as a parallel or a comparable corpus. the 9 sub-corpora of original and interpreted speeches can be grouped on the basis of language. If EPIC is explored as a comparable corpus. and the English used by simultaneous interpreters. Laviosa 2002) could be followed in exploring the corpus. various lines of research already developed in corpus-based translation studies (see for example Bowker 2002. As regards EPIC as a parallel corpus.1 Research: corpus-based interpreting studies Electronic corpora have long been awaited in Interpreting Studies in order to validate the many hypotheses and theories suggested by scholars on interpreters’ strategies and the interpreting process (Shlesinger 1998a). As highlighted by Johansson (1998:6-7). making it possible to carry out semi-automatic queries using the web interface already described above. Moreover. and what is general. the next step in the project envisages the content alignment of source and target speeches.e. frequency lists. lemmatized and encoded. the first attempt to explore EPIC and exploit its research potential using semi-automatic analysis was a study on lexical patterns in simultaneous interpreting (Sandrelli and Bendazzoli 2005 forthcoming) to verify Laviosa’s findings on non-translational (original) and translational English (Laviosa 1998) and see whether her results also apply to original and interpreted 156 . and so on. something which is not often possible. either Italian or Spanish). Thus. Moreover. lemmas and possible pronunciation disfluencies. Moreover. Incidentally. The aligned corpora will make it easier to carry out studies on quality features and specific interpreting strategies.

The “Procedure & Formalities” option may be of particular relevance to trainee interpreters who can use it to study the specific formulaic language used in all of their working languages in the EP context. etc.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Claudio Bendazzoli & Annalisa Sandrelli English and original and interpreted Italian. Finally. EPIC source speeches may be used by trainers during classes to present students with real-life assignments. Moreover. in that it enables students to carry out targeted searches for specific structures and expressions in all three languages. more specifically. An example of pronunciation exercises based on the archive (which. Two applications which are more directly relevant to interpreter training are the use of EPIC video clips and transcripts as practice materials. A potential application which may be of interest to both L2 learners and trainee interpreters is the comparative study of rhetorical devices employed in EP speeches. If a selected clip is considered too difficult to interpret for the specific stage reached by the 8 The Spanish materials in EPIC will be included in a future study. it should be fairly easy to add further levels of annotation. the EPIC corpus. prosodic features and even speakers’ body language. the video clips of the source speeches can be used for listening comprehension exercises. syntax. on politics.2 Pedagogical applications: multimedia archive materials The potential pedagogical applications of the EPIC multimedia archive concern both foreign language teaching (especially for L2 students) and interpreter training. in order to identify the main differences between spoken texts and polished written texts. listening exercises are also useful for improving students’ pronunciation skills in the foreign language. and. As regards the former. false starts. and so on. as was explained in (3). accent. Moreover. Source speeches are potentially of interest to both groups of users. and the use of the EP interpreters’ target speeches for self-assessment purposes. The availability of source speeches in the three languages offers students the opportunity to compare the different rhetorical devices and stock phrases used in English. the special features of language typical of the EP context (EU jargon and other conventions). In particular. Examples include pauses. whereas interpreted speeches are a useful resource for trainee interpreters. Italian and Spanish formal speeches. etc. it must be pointed out that. 157 . given the user-friendly nature of our transcripts. topic. The availability of the speech transcripts can further help students. As regards foreign language teaching. who can read the text after listening to the speech and then focus their attention on any unknown words or structures. can be used as a teaching tool. In this regard. the “topic” search parameter enables students to study the features of speeches by topic. that is. includes recordings in all the EU languages) is the series of German materials for the SPT-Sound Perception Trainer course aimed at the students of the Forlì School for Interpreters and Translators (Kaunzner 1997). who discusses how to teach the use of discourse markers by using spoken corpora. the verbatim reports published on the EP website can be compared with the actual transcripts of the source speeches. humor. Moreover. health. as well as the multimedia archive. great efforts had to be made to correct unexpected flaws in the system and master the necessary techniques of analysis. such as linguistic. 5. economics. along the lines suggested by Zorzi (2001).8 As this was the very first exploration. The speech classification system implemented in the headers of the transcripts and searchable via the EPIC Web interface is a useful source of information for teachers when selecting class materials. teachers may choose speeches by speed. paralinguistic or extra-linguistic features (Leech 1997:5).

Students may be asked to interpret a speech from the archive. etc. language-specific and directionality-related interpreting strategies. An Interdiscipline. which provides a wealth of extra information about speakers and debated issues. Lorenzo Piccioni. 6 Conclusions The Directionality Research Group was originally set up to carry out a research project on directionality in interpreting. it can be edited by using Cool Edit or similar software tools. Rute Costa and Raquel Silva (eds) with the collaboration of Carla Pereira. is the first publicly available corpus of original and interpreted speeches in three European languages. in M. thus giving them useful indications for future work. 2003. and at the same time will inform about teaching methods. Annotated. In both cases. Bistra (1994): ‘Types of Texts and Intertextuality in Simultaneous Interpreting’. The archive can also be integrated with other materials for teaching purposes as well. Guy Aston and Marco Mazzoleni (2004) ‘Introducing the La Repubblica Corpus: A Large. the group has produced two tools: the EPIC multimedia archive and the EPIC corpus. The assessment exercise may be carried out in class together with other students and under the guidance of a teacher (co-assessment). The multimedia archive. Snell-Hornby. F.2). Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. for example to divide it into several clips. 158 . Baroni. Pöchhacker and K. Sandrelli 2007. Mónica Catarino and Sérgio Barros. Silvia Bernardini. -----. created as a source of materials to be transcribed and analyzed via corpus linguistics techniques. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation. Kaindl (eds) Translation Studies. which is available to the whole research community on a dedicated web page. Filipa Carvalho. in that they offer a useful demonstration of professional interpreting standards. on the other hand. the type of materials available through EPIC are ideal for use in any CAIT (Computer Assisted Interpreter Training) software tool (cf. to slow it down without altering the speaker’s pitch. has turned out to hold great multidimensional potential for teaching purposes. Carabelli 1999. The EPIC corpus. Milene Lopes. Alessandra Volpi. as was outlined in (5. in Maria Teresa Lino. to insert pauses in the speech. or in privacy (self-assessment).(1997): ‘A Typology of Interpreter-Mediated Events’. The translator 3(2): 153-174. such as pages from the EP website. Maria Francisca Xavier. TEI(XML)-Compliant Corpus of Newspaper Italian’.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Claudio Bendazzoli & Annalisa Sandrelli students. it may contribute to enhancing students’ awareness of their strengths and weaknesses. The target speeches produced by EP interpreters may find an application in the training of student interpreters too. It is hoped that its exploration will yield interesting results which will contribute to interpreting research on general. Federica Comastri. The recording of their performance can then be compared with the corresponding professional interpretation available in the archive. Fátima Ferreira. Gran Tarabocchia et al. 179-187. 2002). either in class or in their individual study time. Marco. 2003b. As was mentioned in (3) and (4). Sandrelli 2003a. Moreover. work is continuing to expand both tools. 7 References Alexieva. 5: 1771-1774. In its first year of activity.

Marco Baroni. Cencini. in C. in N. Bowker. Granada: Editorial Atrio. in K. Hans G. Challenges and Opportunities. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. The Interpreters’ Newsletter 4: 15-24. Loddegaard (eds) Teaching Translation and Interpreting 2: Insights. Johansson and S. Sylvie (1992) ‘Shadowing’. O. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Hungary: Scholastica. J.intralinea. Claudio. -----. Dollerup and A.(1995): Basic Concepts and Models for Interpreter and Translator Training. de Manuel Jerez. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Klaudy and J. Johansson. Gran Tarabocchia.(2003) ‘A Brief Overview of IRIS – The Interpreter’s Research Information System’. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Budapest.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Claudio Bendazzoli & Annalisa Sandrelli Bendazzoli. 39-56. -----. Lynne (2002): Computer-Aided Translation Technology: a Practical Introduction. Kalina. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Current Trends in Studies of Translation and Interpreting. Method and Case Studies. in G. Gabriele Mack. (2003): ‘Nuevas Tecnologías y Selección de Contenidos: la Base de Datos Marius’. (1994): ‘A Modular and Flexible Architecture for an Integrated Corpus Query System’. Amsterdam & Atlanta: Rodopi. Ulrike A. 3-24. Gile. Elio Ballardini and Peter Mead (2004): ‘Towards the Creation of an Electronic Corpus to Study Directionality in Simultaneous Interpreting’. 159 . Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation: 33-39. Theory. Carabelli. in B. G. Moser-Mercer (eds) Bridging the Gap: Empirical Research in Simultaneous Interpretation. Kohn (eds) Transferre Necesse Est. Sampson (eds) Compiling and Processing Spoken Language Corpora. in J. Laura. Englund Dimitrova and K. 43-51. LREC 2004 Satellite Workshop. Viezzi (eds) Interpreting in the 21st Century. Stig (1998): ‘On the Role of Corpora in Cross-Linguistic Research’. in J. available on-line at http://www.(1997): ‘Interpretation Research: Realistic Expectations’.(2000): ‘Issues in Interdisciplinary Research into Conference Interpreting’.php?id=P107. 21-61.tomatis.htm (22/07/2005) Lambert. inTRAlinea Special Issue: CULT2K. Mariachiara Russo. Hönig. available online at http://www. Oostdijk. Daniel (1994): ‘Methodological Aspects of Interpretation and Translation Research’. Sylvia (1994): ‘Analyzing Interpreters’ Performance: Methods and Problems’. Visions. Hyltenstam (eds) Language Processing and Simultaneous Interpreting: Interdisciplinary Christ. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press. and G. Garzone and M. Lambert and B. Angela (1999): ‘Multimedia Technologies for the Use of Interpreters and Translators’. in S. 113-139. Extending the TEI Scheme’. Granada: Editorial Atrio. Annalisa Sandrelli. in S. Jerez de Manuel (Coord) Nuevas Tecnologías y Formación de Intérpretes. Kaunzner. COMPLEX 2004. Silvia Bernardini. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Cristina Monti. Aims.nsf/8db568a96c37cd9e8625674e00714a92/8cc4b8122 53cec6cc125687e0035ce84/$FILE/Language%20Training.or Hard to Take? Objective Grades of Difficulty of Speeches Used in Interpreting Training’. in Teaching Simultaneous Interpretation into a “B” Language. Oksefjell (eds) Corpora and Cross-Linguistic Research. (1997): ‘Audio-Lingua: Pronunciation Improvement Through Sound Perception Training’. Angela Carabelli and Raffaela Merlini (2002): ‘Computer-Assisted Interpreter Training’. (2002): ‘Piece of Cake . 89-106. -----. 5-7 September 1996. Kristoffersen. Marco (2002): ‘On the Importance of an Encoding Standard for Corpus-Based Interpreting Studies. 225-232. The Interpreters’ Newsletter 9: 149-155. EMCI Workshop 20-21 September 2002. Jerez de Manuel (Coord) Nuevas Tecnologías y Formación de Intérpretes.

112. Málaga: Grupo de Investigación de Lingüística Aplicada y Traducción de la Universidad de Málaga. Nancy (1990): ‘The Role of Shadowing in Interpreter Training’. Findings. 46-62.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation : Conference Proceedings Claudio Bendazzoli & Annalisa Sandrelli Laviosa. Jettmarová. Milano: Editore Ulrico Hoepli. de Manuel Jerez (Coord) Nuevas Tecnologías y Formación de Inté Learning with Corpora. Aston (ed. Alan (2001): ‘Corpora and their Uses in Language Research’.php European Parliament: http://www.(2007) ‘Designing CAIT (Computer-Assisted Interpreter Training) tools: Black Box’.uni-stuttgart. FreeLing: http://garraf. Applications.uni-stuttgart. II Jornadas Internacionales de Traducción e Interpretación. GerzymischArbogast. Meta. 17-20 marzo 1997. Málaga. London: Longman.epsevg. Miriam (1998a): ‘Corpus-Based Interpreting Studies as an Offshoot of CorpusBased Translation Studies’. Problemi Teorici e Metodologie Didattiche. Garside. Sara (1998): ‘Core Patterns of Lexical Use in a Comparable Corpus of English Narrative Prose’.and Claudio Bendazzoli (2005 forthcoming): ‘Lexical Patterns in Simultaneous Interpreting a Preliminary Investigation of EPIC (European Parliament Interpreting Corpus)’.corpus. Rothkegel and D. Daniela (2001): ‘The Pedagogic Use of Spoken Corpora: Learning Discourse Markers in Italian’. Cristina.europarl.) Learning with Corpora. E. Partington. in G. Bologna: Clueb. Annalisa Sandrelli and Mariachiara Russo (forthcoming) ‘Studying Directionality in Simultaneous Interpreting through an Electronic Corpus: EPIC (European Parliament Interpreting Corpus)’.(2003b): ‘New Technologies in Interpreter Training: CAIT’. Leech and T. TreeTagger: http://www. Web references EbS (Europe by Satellite): http://www. Claudio Shlesinger. Annalisa (2003a): ‘Herramientas Informáticas para la Formación de Intérpretes: Interpretations y The Black Box’. IMS Corpus Work Bench.ims. Hajičová & P. Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi. Mc Enery (eds) Corpus Annotation: Linguistic Information from Computer Text Corpora. A. -----. M. Monti.sslmit. Aston (ed.upc.Saarbrücken 2-6 May 2005. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag. Geoffrey (1997): ‘Introducing Corpus Annotation’. Proceedings of the Marie Curie Euroconferences MuTra ‘Challenges of Multidimensional Translation’ . G. Rothfuß-Bastian (eds).de/projekte/corplex/TreeTagger/DecisionTreeTagger. -----. 261-293. ISSN 1747-9398. forthcoming on-line at www. -----. in Proceedings from the Corpus Linguistics Conference Series. 1(1). in G. in J. -----. in H.html 160 .int/comm/dg10/ebs EPIC interface: http://sslmitdev-online. 1-18. Meta 43(4): 557-570. Bologna: Clueb. in Meta 43(4): 486-493.(2002): Corpus-based Translation Studies: Theory.bham. Textologie und Translation. Granada: Editorial Atrio. Russo and F. Z. Leech. 67. Falbo. Russo. 89-102. Sgall.unibo. Mariachiara (1999): ‘La Conferenza come Evento Comunicativo’.europa. Straniero Sergio (a cura di) Interpretazione Simultanea e Schweda Nicholson. in R.(1998b): ‘Interpreting as a Cognitive Process: What Do We Know About How It Is Done?’. Zorzi. Jahrbuch Übersetzen und Dolmetschen 4/II. The Interpreters’ Newsletter 3: 33-40.

Moreover. it is precisely here that institutes of translation and interpreting can suggest new solutions. French. be it medical. I am confident that these professional development courses will contribute to better understanding of court interpreting as a field and to a significant improvement in the quality of court interpreting in Switzerland. 1 I would like to thank the Interpreting Group under the presidency of Peter Marti. On account of this linguistic change. Without their support. Many also lack the special background knowledge assumed in various areas. Switzerland became far more than quadrilingual due to migration. educational programs could not have been offered to practicing court interpreters. The paper outlines initial steps towards heightened expertise and professionalism in public interpreting services: since 2003 a basic educational program for court interpreters has been offered in the Canton of Zurich. Most of the languages that need to be interpreted for Swiss authorities and institutions are languages for which no accredited interpreter training exists in Switzerland. the need for interpreting rose considerably and has continued to rise. In these cases. © Copyright 2005-2007 by MuTra 161 . the quality of interpreting is unlikely to be satisfactory and communication is hampered or even fails completely.German. educational or legal.have been spoken to varying degrees in various regions of the country. and people are accustomed to interpreting services if they watch elections to the Federal Council or other parliamentary sessions on TV or listen to radio broadcasts of them. Many interpreters thus lack professional skills in or even basic knowledge of interpreting and notation techniques and lack awareness of the interpreters' code of ethics and of their professional role.1 1 The Language Situation in Switzerland Four official languages are a standard feature of Switzerland: for about two hundred years the four national languages . followed by Anton Schärer.EU-High-Level Scientific Conference Series MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Gertrud Hofer (Zürich) Court Interpreting: Practical Experience and Implications for Training Interpreters Contents 1 2 3 4 5 The Language Situation in Switzerland Court Interpreting in Switzerland The Court Interpreting Project in the Canton of Zurich The Future Development of Court Interpreting Final Remarks 6 References Abstract In the course of the 20th century. Italian and Romansh . Every child grows up with food labels in two or three languages. as well as Councillor Notter of the Canton of Zurich legislature and the Public Prosecution Office of the Canton of Zurich (Oberstaatsanwaltschaft) for their commitment to the professionalization of court interpreters. many interpreters have insufficient competence in one of the languages of the interpreting pair and/or in the complex syntactic structures and specialized terminology required. These communication problems are shared by Switzerland and many other countries.

On the basis of these figures.4% 0.2% 1. it can be inferred that detention and penal authorities must be depending on 162 ai Ku rd is M h ac ed on ia n si an tia n h Tu rk is h ge se ni sh D ut ch ne s gl is e Al ba n Sp a Po rtu R us En C hi Th . 1: Se Percentage of Swiss population by native language (taken from Lüdi & Werlen 2005). 1. There has been a considerable increase in the number of criminal proceedings and in the use of interpreters recently. especially for languages for which few or no educational programs are offered. 20% French. they are especially interesting in the context of interpreting because they show that almost half of the 10 most frequent languages used in Switzerland are not regularly taught in Swiss schools and are not part of the usual interpreting versions at translation and interpreting schools.0% ia n Ta m il Ar ab ic rb oC ro a Fig.6% 0. psychiatrists. also on costs. A recent report by the Federal Office of Statistics (Lüdi & Werlen 2005) revealed some surprising results on native speaker use of languages in Switzerland in 2000. yet individual members still have to communicate with their host country. representing a considerable change in the second half of the 20th century. As a consequence. Nevertheless.6% 1. medical doctors. and 6. The various language groups form communities with clear boundaries to their surroundings. the need for interpreters has grown considerably. A total of 9% percent of the population in Switzerland spoke nonnational languages.4% 1. Expenses for court interpreting in the Canton of Zurich alone amounted to CHF 5 million in 2003 and CHF 7 million in 2005 (personal communication). Although the three most frequently used languages were national languages of Switzerland (64% German. Multilingualism has an impact not only on communication itself but. the fourth most frequent language was Serbo-Croatian. leading to a new multilingualism in Switzerland.0% 0. sometimes in the form of “forced contacts” with refugee organizations. and the numbers are not even the same for major cities such as Zurich and Geneva.8% 1.2% 0. courts and so on. social institutions. migration has expanded the spectrum of languages considerably.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Gertrud Hofer Since the middle of the 20th century. teachers. One example is in the police offices and courts in the Canton of Zurich. These contacts present different degrees of complexity for interpreting tasks in a variety of communication situations. of course. 1 these languages are plotted according to their frequency of use in the population. Of course these statistics vary from region to region. In Fig.5% Italian). police.8% 0.

and contesting parties have the right to a legal hearing (Art. 2 In civil proceedings. Although court interpreting has gained importance throughout Europe in the past few decades and courts and other public authorities have to rely on interpreting services for numerous languages. the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (Art. legal examinations or trials. 2 Court Interpreting in Switzerland Only very seldom do professional conference interpreters choose to work for federal or cantonal authorities or the criminal courts2 because of the low salaries and the comparatively poor working conditions (e. para. correctness and completeness are indispensable in legal proceedings when acquittal or sentencing is at stake. The educational background of court interpreters varies from doctoral degrees to very limited education and correspondingly few can learn to interpret professionally on their own. there have been few formal training programs up to now. and African languages increased. 163 .MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Gertrud Hofer interpreters to a increasing degree although at present there are no data on the exact number of interpreted interrogations. Thus heterogeneity is one of the most difficult aspects for the authorities and the courts (and of course also for educational institutes). 2).g. Not surprisingly. 130 different languages are listed. there had only been 560 interpreters. Unprofessional interpreting or translating can therefore have serious consequences for the language mediator involved. 1) stipulates that translators and interpreters can be charged and sentenced to up to five years for misrepresentation or mistranslation. there are regulations stipulating the involvement of court interpreters. The Swiss Criminal Code (Art. 29). lack of access to records). established in the federal constitution (Art. At the European level. covered by over 962 interpreters (Table 1). 307. 1). 5. are binding for cantonal courts and judges and guarantee the right to a fair trial. an interpreter has to be present in approximately 50% of all criminal justice cases and the number is on the increase (personal communication). In the 1980s the use of Lebanese. and since the 1990s the languages from Eastern Europe have become more frequent (as shown in Figure 1). para. Spanish. meaning that no one should suffer discrimination because of language. Utmost diligence. According to information from the Supreme Court of the Canton of Zurich. The languages concerned have changed with subsequent waves of migration: in the 1960s Italian. 2 EMRK) establishes correspondingly strict rules: Everyone who is arrested shall be informed promptly. The most important of these in Switzerland. Furthermore. and Portuguese became increasingly common in Switzerland whereas in the 1970s Arabic and Turkish were the new languages. the contesting parties often do engage professional conference interpreters. the courts in the Canton of Zurich have experienced an increase in the number of interpreters and languages covered: as of 2005. Irrespective of the various levels of interpreting quality. in a Language which he understands of the Reason for his Arrest and of any Charges against him. every individual in Switzerland has the right to receive equal and fair treatment by legal and administrative authorities (Art. Latin American Spanish. Switzerland has consistently implement the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms since joining the Convention in the year 1974. In 2003.

The total number of interpreters does not correspond exactly to the actual number of court interpreters. Pöchhacker 2001. as was the appreciation of the court authorities for interpreters. and there were no training programs. Pöllabauer 2002) and have demonstrated that the situation in court interpreting in Germany and Austria presents similar problems to those in Switzerland. because some of them are registered for several languages and are therefore counted more than once (for example. * The number in brackets refers to the total number of languages in 2004. The reason for this intervention was not concern about quality but high costs. political intervention in the Canton of Zurich prompted a closer examination into court interpreting. and immigration officers in the Canton of Zurich have a register of interpreters from which judges and police officers appoint an interpreter in a specific case. The changes in distribution of language groups in Switzerland are comparable to those in neighboring countries such as Germany (Kalina 2001) and Austria (Kadric 2001). courts. Prior to 1999. police. As a consequence of them. In 1999. the professional status of interpreters at police stations and in courtrooms was only loosely regulated: persons registered were not tested as to their interpreting skills or competence in their respective languages.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Gertrud Hofer Language Year English Serbian Croatian French Spanish Russian Bosnian Tab. 2002. and court interpreting as a field of study has gained importance. The demand on the part of interpreters for professional development programs is rising. Researchers from areas like translation studies and sociology have been pursuing the topic over the past few years (cf. Kadric 2001. One of the interpreters had charged more than a quarter of a million Swiss francs to the 164 . many interpreters of African languages also interpret to and from English).1 Background As mentioned above. Driesen 1998. new training programs have been developed in several parts of Europe since the end of the 20th century. 3 The Court Interpreting Project in the Canton of Zurich 3. 1: Number of Interpreters 2005 164 161 155 140 128 112 100 2004 125 139 137 90 97 75 75 Language Year Italian Turkish Arabic Albanian Portuguese Chinese Total: 130 (120)* Number of Interpreters 2005 80 69 69 67 50 26 962 2004 66 57 55 59 36 22 818 Number of court interpreters registered for various languages in the Canton of Zurich. The quality of interpreting was quite often low.

Interpreters must also be bound by confidentiality: they are forbidden from transmitting information to uninvolved parties (cf. responsibility. the members of the Group worked out a set of guidelines and decided which qualifications were indispensable for interpreters. or a residence permit and have no criminal record. 320). After the parliamentary intervention in the Canton of Zurich in 1999. In addition. • Personal requirements specify that interpreters must have a work permit. 4 Dolmetscherverordnung November 2003 (see www. to be responsible for the introduction and development of educational programs. In January 2004. Professional requirements cover an understanding of legal procedures in courts and of corresponding terminology. In an initial step. their work demands knowledge of interpreting and notation techniques as well as of the code of ethics. or expulsion of interpreters from the register. The cantonal parliament therefore ordered the institutionalization of an “Interpreting Group”. costs for interpreters in courts cannot be reduced since laws stipulate their presence. • • The professionalism strived for in the guidelines was to be reached by “selection.g. confidentiality. Criminal Law Art.2 New Regulations The aim of the interpreting ordinance is to unify formalities for interpreters (e. ethical and legal principles. and availability. and the Interpreting Group had to suggest the appropriate measures to be taken. for the administration of the register of interpreters as well as for the selection. an adjunct to the Supreme Court of the Canton of Zurich. an ordinance on interpreting came into effect. tariffs and contracts). when the parliament of the Canton of Zurich scrutinized the level of salaries for court interpreters. Neutrality must be understood and ensured: untrained interpreters might mistakenly understand their role as advocates for compatriots and misrepresent content. Court interpreters must also have mastery of two languages and extensive knowledge of the relevant cultural background. training. Swiss citizenship. and professional qualifications. clarify their legal status. They also include reliability. only available in German. stress resistance.obergericht-zh. 4 3. and loyalty to the employer. suspension. 3 The charge was high because of telephone checks that were extremely time-consuming and not because the interpreter was paid so well. awareness of the need for better qualified court interpreters increased and efforts to professionalize court interpreting intensified. Ethical and legal principles cover neutrality.3 Contrary to other areas. In the ordinance on interpreting the Interpreting Group focused on three criteria for the registration of interpreters: personal requirements. These criteria are necessary but are not sufficient to guarantee professional. which turned out to be justified. such as educational settings. they discovered that the legal status of interpreters as well as their level of qualifications had to be discussed rather than the costs. punctuality. 165 . and control”. competent interpreting.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Gertrud Hofer District Court of Zurich for interpreting services in 1998. the competencies of interpreters had to be defined. As the Interpreting Group was responsible for the quality of interpreting and translation services for the courts and authorities in the Canton of Zurich. and professionalize their work.

The following deficits were identified as the most frequent: • • • limited knowledge of the legal system and terminology insufficient knowledge of interpreting techniques and of the role of interpreters lack of language competence (particularly in German) In accordance with the guidelines. Discussions with representatives of immigration courts and police officers as well as participation in interpreting services at trials. public prosecutors.4 Basic course for court interpreters After the three pilot courses with 52 court interpreters in the winter of 2003/04. interrogations. development of speech training. awareness of the code of professional ethics. All three courses were subsidized by the Interpreting Group. but not interpreters or linguists.6 and the two institutions laid the groundwork for an educational program for court interpreters. Aims of the course The Interpreting Group’s aims for the two-day courses are to professionalize court interpreters and to revise the list of registered interpreters in order to ensure high quality. The educational program in Magdeburg-Stendal preceded the Swiss program and was designed for a similar public with a comparable spectrum of languages.obergericht-zh.4). 166 . and legal examinations served as further preparation for the development of educational measures.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Gertrud Hofer 3. with Germany and Austria serving as models for the Swiss program.3 Involvement of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting Since the members of the Interpreting Group were judges. which took effect in January 2004. and there is also an educational program for these languages in Vienna. 7 Switzerland is by no means the first country in which measures for better qualifications of interpreters have been taken. only available in German. they turned to the Institute of Translation and Interpreting of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences Winterthur (ZHW) for help in defining the language and professional requirements for court interpreters. Representatives from both MagdeburgStendal and Vienna inspired and contributed to the conception of the court interpreting program in the Canton of Zurich. The concept for the two-day course is based on the need for specialized knowledge. January 2004 (see www. In Europe. interpreting and notation techniques. Language and the law is an area it has specialized in from the very beginning. court interpreters already working for the authorities and courts were offered a two-day course for which each institution designed one training day (see section 3. 6 Merkblatt. various educational programs have been developed in the past decades.7 The first pilot course started in November 2003 and was followed by two more in January and February 2004. 5 Since its inception in 1999 the Institute’s Center for Continuing Education has focused on the interface between languages and professional areas. The course also pursues the goal of improving the reputation of court interpreters. Court interpreters must be able to interpret complex issues completely and correctly and must have a professional attitude towards interpreting.5 The results of the collaboration were incorporated into the Interpreting Group’s guidelines. and immigration officers. police. and interpreting practice. a basic course was institutionalized for all court interpreters listed in the Interpreting Group register.

the Examining Board includes representatives of the Interpreting Group commissioners. An example of the average evaluation of a recent course can be seen in Fig. such as Arabian.) speech and breathing techniques • Exam About a month after the basic course there is an exam comprising a written (specialized knowledge) and an oral section (professional ethics. The court interpreters are tested by faculty from the Institute for Translation and Interpreting. 167 . The 18 participants of this particular basic course evaluated the competence of the instructors most highly but were less satisfied with the volume of the course material and practicability. Upon successful completion of the exam. In order to ensure that the standard of the exam corresponds to the requirements of authorities and courts. Urdu. whisper interpreting. 2. interpreting techniques as well as German/German language-independent interpreting).8 High competence in German is essential for court interpreters to be able to interpret correctly and precisely even under pressure and without the help of dictionaries. Igbo. • Content The following subjects are covered in the two-day basic course: • • • • legal and political specialized knowledge professional ethics and the role of an interpreter theory of interpreting techniques (consecutive interpreting. These criteria are difficult to check from an administrative point of view. They can express themselves precisely and distinctly and can describe complex relations and nuances. so candidates should be tested if they do not have a diploma certifying a level in German corresponding to C2 of the European portfolio. candidates are officially registered as court interpreters in the Canton of Zurich. completed compulsory education. 8 C2 is the highest level in the European Portfolio. Non-native speakers can understand everything they hear and read and can summarize information from various written and oral sources and can render explanations and justifications very accurately. Feedback by course participants Feedback is requested of all course participants with a view to continually optimizing course content and presentation.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Gertrud Hofer Admission Participants are selected by an admission procedure that guarantees the level of the course corresponds to its aims: • Education: at least 9 years of schooling. sight translation) interpreting practice (with language-independent exercises because of the impossibility of covering all conceivable language combinations. or professional experience. German test for non-native speakers: the German competence of non-native speakers certainly cannot be trained in two days. The courts and penal authorities are then assured of at least a basic level of knowledge and skill. etc.

and penal authorities) Inherent in this quality management process is the risk of losing a disproportionate number of interpreters because of higher standards and the difficulties in certifying enough court interpreters within a reasonable period of time.6.00 4. both less qualified interpreters and better qualified interpreters are working in the courts because basic courses and qualifying exams are still in 168 .2005 18.00 0. immigration office.00 2.00 10. a review of the register.00 14. Strengths and weaknesses of the basic course The number of proceedings with cantonal and federal authorities as well as in the courts mean that a sufficient number of interpreters must be available but the Interpreting Group demands increased professionalization.00 12.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Gertrud Hofer Evaluation Basic Course 11.00 6. Some weaknesses of the Basic Course at present are: • • • exclusion of rare minority languages heterogeneity of groups in the course (with respect to language competence and specialized knowledge) lack of testing of native languages other than German During the transition period at the moment. Designed to achieve this balance. and improvement in the standard of court interpreting.00 topics presentation course material volume practicability specialized knowledge pedagogical knowledge of instructors of instructors Fig. cantonal police. 2: Feedback by 18 participants of a Basic Course for court interpreters.00 8. the strengths of the basic course are: • • • • fostering professionalization by bottom-up model meeting education requirement for court interpreters teaching by experienced interpreters including course content based on close cooperation of the Center of Continuing Education (ZHW) with clients (Interpreting Group representing the courts of the Canton of Zurich.00 ++ + +/-no answer 16.

MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Gertrud Hofer

progress or planned. Far more court interpreters would like to attend these courses than have had the opportunity to do so. Within the next two years, all court interpreters in the Canton of Zurich should have had the chance to attend a basic course.

3.5 Outcome of the basic course
When the three pilot courses were first advertised there was an enormous response. Most of the court interpreters not only needed (further) professional training, they also wanted to learn more about interpreting. About 300 applicants responded immediately, yet for pedagogical reasons we started with only 52 participants. In addition to the aims of the course outlined in 3.4, we found it necessary to react to several misconceptions about interpreting mentioned by the pilot course participants such as: • • • being allowed to ask questions at court or in police offices if they do not understand being in the position to offer legal explanations or even advice judging their own capabilities.

Because of the great interest in the pilot courses the Interpreting Group decided to offer the educational program on a regular basis and continue to subsidize it. The basic course has been compulsory for new applicants since April 2004 and will become so for all court interpreters by the end of 2006. The courses and exams are thus being used as a selection instrument for court interpreters in the Canton of Zurich. Although the basic course is not yet compulsory, almost one-third of all court interpreters had already enrolled in the program by July 2005. The huge increase in applications surprised both institutions (the Interpreting Group and ZHW Center for Continuing Education): obviously the training program meets a deficit experienced by a majority of court interpreters. By July 2005, eleven courses had been offered, with a total of 198 participants. Of the 171 candidates who have taken the exams to date, 125 (73%) passed. Although the basic course is only two days long and the evaluation of the exams still has a preliminary character, they make it apparent whether candidates have acquired the specialized knowledge, whether their competence in German actually corresponds to C2 when interpreting, and whether they have analytical competence and a gift for interpreting. Interpreters who successfully pass the exams receive more commissions from authorities and courts after their qualification, and those who fail the exams are suspended or excluded from the register. Some others decide to remove their names from the register even before they attempt the exam. The heterogeneity among course participants, a well-known problem of most courses offered by centers of continuing education, has the advantage here that interpreters can compare their competence and performance with other members in the course; in the process some realize that they had underestimated the interpreting profession and that interpreting is more than just speaking two languages. Somewhat to our surprise, the tightening of requirements does not necessarily lead to fewer court interpreters on the register but, because of the steadily rising number of applications, to better trained, more efficient ones. The training programs in the Canton of Zurich also benefit court interpreters from other cantons as well as interpreters active in other fields, above all in medicine and education. Interest from interpreters in other parts of Switzerland and other fields may be a possible explanation for the increase in applications.


MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Gertrud Hofer

3.6 Reactions from the Supreme Court of the Canton of Zurich
After the pilot courses, the Interpreting Group evaluated the results of the courses and exams. The primary reasons for unsatisfactory performance in the exams were a lack of specialized knowledge and a limited ability to interpret. What the Interpreting Group experienced in the exams: • • • • • a word-for-word translation is not the basis for good interpreting language competence in two languages has to be high interpreting demands analytical skills preparation is a necessity access to information (which may include records) is essential

Measures In addition to the two evaluation measures described in 3.4 for the basic course exam, the Interpreting Group implemented a third criterion for inclusion in the register, so there are three possibilities for selection, before and after the basic course as well as parallel to it: • • • passing a high-level German exam (for which about 850 – 1300 teaching units are a prerequisite for non-native speakers of German) passing the exam after the basic course passing an interpreting test at the Center of Continuing Education (This additional criterion was introduced to test individual interpreters on demand if a judge complains about their performance.)

The decision about inclusion or expulsion from the register is always with the Interpreting Group. One of the difficulties with expulsion concerns critical languages such as Urdu or Igbo; these have to be covered even if the respective interpreters are not successful in the exams. Initial consequences: Seminar for the commissioners Over the last two years interpreting has become an important issue on the political agenda in the Canton of Zurich.9 Proof of the broader commitment by the Supreme Court of the Canton of Zurich is the institution of a so-called lunch and learn seminar on the topic for commissioners. In discussions with the members of the Interpreting Group, it became obvious that commissioners have diverse opinions about the strategies, tasks, and competence of interpreters. Yet the commissioners can contribute considerably to good performance on the part of court interpreters. The commissioners have to become aware that a successful strategy is not based on literal translation or interpreting: interpreters render meaning, not just words. The commissioners should also understand the various interpreting techniques and their appropriate application in trials, interrogations, or examinations. The demanding task of court interpreters can be eased if they are given time for preparation and access to records. Court interpreting (in all settings) can only succeed if interpreters truly understand what is said. Of course, prerequisite to this is sufficient competence with respect to special knowledge, language, and terminology, as discussed above. This competence is not static, however; interpreters must adapt continually to new situations in courts and offices and acquire new

The President of the Supreme Court of the Canton of Zurich, Dr. R. Klopfer, confirmed the importance of court interpreting in an interview in the leading Swiss daily newspaper (NZZ 2005).


MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Gertrud Hofer

legal knowledge, vocabulary, and deeper understanding of words, concepts, and terms.10 The lunch and learn seminar should serve to put the knowledge of interpreting techniques and principles on a par for all parties concerned.

4 The Future Development of Court Interpreting
4.1 Open questions
There are two pressing questions that must be considered in the context of court interpreting: • Unknown language level When migrant waves bring different languages into Switzerland, the courts and various authorities initially have difficulty finding interpreters. Obviously only few people are able to interpret at this stage, and sometimes court interpreters even come from neighboring countries with related languages. Just as the courts start finding interpreters more easily for a certain language, new languages arrive in Switzerland. In connection with recruiting court interpreters, there is also the issue of changing language competence and language attrition. Once immigrants become integrated in their host country, their language patterns can change and the local language (e.g. German in central and northern Switzerland) can become dominant. The children of such immigrants are even more integrated, since they are socialized and educated in German. The latter is usually their dominant language, with the other language potentially quite limited with a less elaborated code, used for household affairs and little else. • Testing and developing competence in rare minority languages How educational institutes can determine the language level of prospective interpreters is one of the most challenging issues when dealing with minority languages. In the educational program outlined in 3.4, the Center of Continuing Education is of course able to test whether court interpreters’ German is at C2 level but finding instructors to test rare minority languages is more difficult. Even if it were possible to test court interpreters in all their languages, what measures should be taken if the languages are not elaborated enough, and how should we provide a program to improve the competence in these languages?

4.2 Further education
A two-day course is not long enough to attain interpreting expertise but is an instrument to establish the basis for professional development. Because in two days some topics can only be touched upon (as reflected in the participants’ feedback), more educational programs are being planned. • Intermediate course: 8 days long (60 lessons), with the focus on interpreting, ethics of interpreters, various interpreting techniques, internet research techniques, and interpreting exercises. The exam includes sight translation (German-German) and consecutive interpreting (L1-L2).


Jan Engberg (2005) discussed the evolution of concepts with the example of “murder”.


MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Gertrud Hofer

Certificate course:11 divided into two parts (specialized knowledge and interpreting), there are also teaching units on specialized translation of legal texts (judgments, divorce, contracts, etc.). The exam includes consecutive interpreting (L1-L2 and vice versa). Coaching for interpreters with rare languages who fail the exam.

5 Final Remarks
Court interpreting is one of the most difficult yet fascinating topics in translation and interpreting studies in the 21st century and will probably remain a common activity despite or even because of increasing globalization. As outlined above, court interpreters in the Canton of Zurich are being trained along the principles of conference interpreters, with interpreting skills taught by instructors in the ZHW degree program and instructors from outside Switzerland who teach court interpreters in their own countries. (The input about special areas is provided by various experts from the courts, penal authorities, migration offices, etc.). The court interpreters’ situation is generally quite special: they usually have little or no theoretical background in translation studies, because for many of them court interpreting is not actually their profession, but rather something they feel qualified for by virtue of having lived in a host country for a certain length of time or having been brought up with another language, such as Portuguese, Tamil, or Urdu. By contrast, prospective conference interpreters usually have high competence in German, English, French, Italian and/or Spanish and can participate in regular interpreting programs with training in three languages. Court interpreters require a theoretical basis in interpreting and notation techniques, ethics, and so on but must also know about various legal topics and legal systems and be competent in the terminology of at least two languages. Court interpreters themselves are often unaware of these requirements, which are uncontested in interpreting literature. Quite often they also seem to lack the practical side of handling terminology, databases, and search techniques. Yet terminology is essential: it is the link between specialized knowledge and language competence (Budin 2002). The newly developed basic training courses in Zurich are an opportunity for court interpreters to become more professional. It remains to be seen whether solid programs on various levels (basic, intermediate, certificate) can be established throughout Switzerland and elsewhere for court interpreters to achieve true professionalism. Training courses are primarily a chance for court interpreters to produce better performance, but they are also a chance to improve the reputation of the profession as a whole. Finally, it is to be hoped that international cooperation and standardization for court interpreting intensifies.12


These two additional programs are not part of the Interpreting Group’s compulsory program as the basic course is, but the Supreme Court and the Public Prosecution Office of the Canton of Zurich (Oberstaatsanwaltschaft) under the leadership of Commissioner Notter are subsidizing the two programs substantially. 12 I especially hope that European cooperation intensifies and would very much like to thank the organizers of the Euroconference 2005 in Saarbrücken for fostering cooperation.


-----. Tübingen. Margareta (1998): ‘Community Interpreting’. p.(n. 229 . In Best.): Übersetzen und Dolmetschen.(2001): ‘Zur Professionalisierung beim Dolmetschen – Vorschläge für Forschung und Lehre’.(ed): Dolmetschen. -----.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Gertrud Hofer 6 References Bowen. (eds.306. Snell-Hornby et al. Kompetenzen. Tübingen. In Best. Konzeptuelle Grundlagen und deskriptive (accessed September 2005). -----.d.): ‘Interpreting is Interpreting – Or is it’. Tübingen. NZZ (2005): ’Vom Richter zum Justizmanager’. Budin.): Übersetzen und Dolmetschen. S. 312-16. UTB.): Handbuch Translation. UTB. UTB. 30 – 43. In Mary Snell-Hornby et (accessed September 2005). Holly (n. Frankfurt.d. Engberg.35.acebo. Pöchhacker. Anforderungen. 286 – 298. http:/ www. Joanna and Kalina. Joanna. Saarbrücken.acebo. WUV Kalina. Erwartungen. 20 June 2005. Sylvia (eds): Übersetzen und Dolmetschen. Pöllabauer. Mikkelson. 173 . In Best. and Kalina. (1998): ‘Community Interpreting’. 319-21.): ‘The Court Interpreter as Guarantor of Defendant Rights’. Christiane J. (eds. Joanna and Kalina. Sylvia (eds. (eds): Handbuch Translation. 51 – 64. UTB. In: The Interdependence of Models and Approaches. Mira (2001): Dolmetschen bei Gericht. Andreas F. Kadric. Sonja (2002): ‘Community Interpreting als Arbeitsfeld – Vom Missionarsgeist und moralischen Dilemmata’. Franz (2001): Dolmetschen. Jan (2005): ‘Knowledge Construction and Domain-specific Discourse’. Gerhard (2002): ‘Wissensmanagement in der Translation’. Joanna and Kalina.(2002): ‘Gerichtsdolmetschen – Praxis und Problematik’. Neue Zürcher Zeitung. In Kettetat. (eds): Übersetzen und Dolmetschen. In Euroconferences. In M. In Best. http:/ www. S. Sylvia (2002): ‘Fragestellung der Dometschwissenschaft’. Driesen. 74 – 84.

meant that there were no professional translators and interpreters.1 The work of the Commission originates from the presidency conclusions of the Tampere European Council (15 and 16 October. the Commission has assumed for years that the establishment of minimum standards for court procedures is an indispensable prerequisite for the full mutual recognition of court decisions. However. The program of measures to implement the principle of mutual recognition of decisions in criminal matters from 15 January 2001 stipulates that the extent of the mutual recognition is linked with the existence and the contents of particular parameters that are decisive for the efficiency of the 1 Cf. since a uniform protection level for suspects and defendants would make the application of the principle of mutual recognition much easier. This paper presents a pilot training scheme for remedying this unsatisfactory situation and also investigates its didactic potential. formulate the mutual recognition of court decisions as a goal of legal policy at European level. until now. Hence. which. it explores the question of whether it is possible to meet the increasing demand for qualified translators and interpreters by introducing alternative methods of training. 1 The EU sets minimum standards for procedural safeguards The work undertaken by the Commission in this area deals with criminal proceedings in the EU member states.pdf © Copyright 2005-2007 by MuTra 174 . This. this means that the rights of suspects and defendants should be harmonized within the EU. of course. 1999). This is one of the reasons why the European Commission has been working on the quality of translation and interpretation in courts and other authorities of the EU member states for several years. The Commission first carried out an extensive consultation there is a growing demand in Europe for translation and interpretation services in those languages for which. Above all. there was no training offered. The examination of specific cases has shown that the EU member states have doubts as to whether the examined foreign decisions were made within a high-quality procedure. COM(2004)328 final: http://ec. The same situation can be seen in the field of court interpretation. the results of which were included in the proposal for a Council framework decision on certain procedural rights in criminal proceedings throughout the European Union. As regards criminal proceedings. it has proved very difficult to achieve the mutual recognition of court decisions.EU-High-Level Scientific Conference Series MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mira Kadric (Vienna) Court Interpreter Training in a European Context Contents 1 2 3 4 5 Minimum standards for procedural safeguards Presentation and evaluation of cross-language training Responses and discussion of results Conclusions References Abstract Today. among other things.

the right of persons who are not capable of understanding or following the proceedings to receive appropriate attention 4. the draft determines that the responsible authority decides which documents have to be translated. verdict of the European Court of Human Rights from 19 December 1989. the parties would receive a copy of the recording. migration and refugee movements are reaching new heights. the legal adviser of the suspect has the right to demand the translation of further documents (article 7. regards all the stages of a has not been enforced in the practice of criminal 2 Cf. the right to (free) legal advice 2. the draft prescribes expressly the consultation of sufficiently qualified translators and interpreters. Federal Republic of Germany. which includes common action in the field of judicial cooperation regarding criminal cases. paragraph 3 lit e ECHR (Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms). The legal basis of the proposal is article 31 of the Treaty on European Union in the version of the Treaty of Nice. with consular authorities in the case of foreign suspects. The Commission is thus working on common minimum standards and putting the emphasis on the appropriate protection of foreign suspects and defendants. which. Otherwise. whose aim is to improve the efficiency of criminal prosecution.2 The aim of the Commission is to harmonize the rights of suspects and defendants on the basis of already existing international agreements (European Convention on Human Rights. However. inter alia. The Commission’s primary goal is to establish minimum standards.pdf 3 For Austria and for Germany the issue of the amount of interpretations and translations is very relevant because Austria and Germany have already been convicted in this context before the European Court of Human Rights (case Kamasinski vs. case Öztürk vs.3 Additionally. COM(2003)75 final from 19 February 2003. the right to the interpretation and translation of important documents 3. Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union). up to now. the number of foreign defendants is also increasing in all the member states. This means that this right also encompasses sign language interpretation. The text of the proposal determines expressly that the right to make use of the services of an interpreter free of charge also applies to persons with a hearing disorder or a speech defect. the proposal for a framework decision represents the necessary addition to the measures regarding mutual recognition. The procedural rights determined in the proposal for a framework decision can be divided into five areas: 1. tourism. Austria. the recording would only be used for checking whether the interpretation has been carried out correctly. the right to communicate. The right to interpretation and translation of important documents.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mira Kadric criminal proceedings. which is dealt with in chapter 2. The Commission has thus clearly advocated an up-to-date interpretation of article 6. In case of dispute. In February 2003 the Commission presented a Green Paper on Procedural Safeguards for Suspects and Defendants in Criminal Proceedings. http://eur-lex. According to the Council and the Commission these parameters contain mechanisms for the legal protection of suspects as well as the prescribed common minimum standards. According to the Commission.europa. including meetings with the legal adviser. As regards the right to free translations. 175 . 5. the right to information. As professional mobility. verdict of the European Court of Human Rights from 21 February 1984). clause 2 of the draft). Organized crime is also increasingly spreading across the borders. Article 9 of the draft also contains a real innovation in this field – the use of audio and video recordings in all proceedings in which translators and interpreters have to be called in.

this paper presents a pilot training scheme for remedying this unsatisfactory situation and also investigates its didactic potential. Inspired by the initiatives of the European Commission and in consideration of the future requirements. First. and Agis project JAI/2003/AGIS/048. NGOs and other private groups in Europe are trying to train people with knowledge of foreign languages to work in court. Universities provide qualified training only for the more dominant languages and an extremely small number of other ones. 2 Presentation and evaluation of cross-language training The Austrian Association of Court Interpreters has regularly organized entry preparation seminars in the field of court interpretation for prospective court interpreters since September 2002. but who have a very good command of two languages and want to apply for the List of Sworn and Certified Court Interpreters. the list of sworn in and certified court interpreters contains people who are not at all or only insufficiently qualified for working with these languages.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mira Kadric law in the EU member states. Court practice in Europe confirms the opinion of the Commission that there is not a sufficient number of qualified interpreters for several languages. one can say that the quality of interpretation and translation services and the training of interpreters and translators will have to be improved in the entire EU. Thus. This needs to be remedied in two ways. The Commission mentions in the explanatory memorandum its aim to search for solutions which would ensure that every member state had enough qualified translators and interpreters. there is no training at all for a number of languages that are very important in court. The recognition by the Commission that there is not a sufficient number of qualified court interpreters and translators for the various languages (parameter 37 of the explanatory memorandum) reflects everyday court experience in all member states. Only those persons can be entered in the List of Sworn and Certified Court Interpreters who either have a university degree in translation or interpretation and two years experience in the field or those who have no such training but can prove that they have been translating or interpreting for at least five years. many public institutions. for example. training is held in the respective national languages. The situation is not very different in other member states. Grotius project 2001/GRP/01. held in September 2002. 176 . The basis for such standards has already been established by three projects promoted by the EU. This means that new educational facilities will have to be established in Europe in order to create common quality standards for court interpreters.5 4 5 Grotius projects 98/GR/131. Because of the great number of languages required. Second. If they pass the examination. the selection of students for training. Above all. it has to be ensured that interpretations and translations are checked within the proceeding. the training of court interpreters in Europe will have to be improved and standardized. Keijzer-Lambooy & Gasille 2005). The single target languages can only partly be dealt with. as the Commission proposes. Today. models for the implementation and some training material for the legal professions were introduced (cf. To sum up. Only those who fulfill these requirements can take the examinations.4 After the first suggestions regarding the linguistic standards. Now it is the responsibility of the individual member states to adjust and further develop these results as well as to implement their national training and follow-up training systems. focused on an “Introduction to interpretation techniques”. In Austria. The first seminar. The seminars aim at persons who have had no training in the field of translation and interpretation. they are entered in the List. Hertog 2001 and 2003. it explores the question of whether it is possible to meet the increasing demand for qualified translators and interpreters by introducing alternative methods of training.

e.12%) were male. those not having relevant competences. registrar.6 Thus. An analysis of participants into those “having a translation or interpretation degree vs. philologists Translation or interpretation training 100 80 Percent 60 40 20 0 28 72 yes no Diagram 1: Translation or interpretation training 6 The participants of the courses had different jobs. This made it possible to divide the participants according to their individual competences with relevance to court interpreting. interpreters. priest. from a didactic point of view. The reason why professional interpreters have been so interested is probably that interpretation studies at Austrian universities still do not place much emphasis on court interpreting. Hence.g. the participants of the individual seminars had different interests and expectations and formed very heterogeneous groups. bookkeeper. those not having such a degree”. embassy secretary. It was much more fruitful to take the background knowledge of the participants into account. 177 . shows that among the 132 participants. During the seminar lessons I realized that. some of whom were already certified for court services. nurse. translators. 132 people took part in the seminars. These results show how heterogeneous the groups were.88%) were female and 16 (12. The seminars were held in German so that the individual working languages (altogether 27 languages) of the participants could only be taken into consideration to a limited extent. it was best to distinguish between participants who possessed these competences vs. The first course attracted even trained translators and interpreters. in language studies or in law as well as persons with other professions who use their knowledge of foreign languages in their job and as interpreters for their families. The data7 presented in this work was obtained from the analysis of a total of nine seminars that took place during a period of two years (2002 until 2004). Seminars which took place later were attended by a mixture of people having a degree in translation or (more seldom) interpretation studies. Less than one third of the participants had a translation or interpretation degree. 37 people (28%) had a degree and 95 people (72%) had no degree in translation or interpretation. In the later seminars the average group size was 13. Of the 132 participants 116 (87.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mira Kadric 2. restaurant owner – to name only a few. In the analysis. 7 I would like to thank Ira Stanic for checking the completeness and correctness of the analyzed figures. the group could not be divided simply according to this criterion.1 Target group The two-day long “pilot seminar” held in September 2002 showed that there is enormous interest for this preparation course. 21 people attended the “pilot seminar”.

an excellent knowledge of the Austrian legal system as well as knowledge (as a rule contrastive) of the codes of procedure and legal terminology. Lithuanian. Czech.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mira Kadric Type of participants' previous training 60 50 40 Percent 30 53. Lawyers had a very good command of their foreign languages. As regards the group of participants with a translation or interpretation degree. the participants might have answered the questionnaire less freely. it was noticeable that translators outnumbered interpreters by far. Otherwise it would have been easy to identify the participants. Diagram 2 shows a comparison of the number of participants without relevant background knowledge and the number of those with background knowledge. They accounted for 47% of the participants.03 10 0 13. Japanese. In addition to German as the common working language. they did not name any training or practical experience which would be relevant for working court interpreters. philologists and lawyers. Among the participants with no particular background knowledge. which are indispensable when working as a translator or interpreter. the following 27 languages were represented in the seminars: Albanian. Danish. Spanish. above all in their families and at work. Persian. Bulgarian. Latvian. The latter group is further divided into translators and interpreters. Greek. French.03 20 28. who worked as “natural” interpreters. Ukrainian and Urdu. However. Hungarian. while those participants without competences relevant for court interpreting accounted for 53%. Finnish. Russian. Chinese. Arabic. However. Participants with a degree in language studies had excellent command of their respective foreign language as well as outstanding cultural competences. Romanian. they did not have a very high degree of competence in interpretation and were not very familiar with the legal system and terminology. In the questionnaire a question about the training and the working languages was left out deliberately. Some of them also had a fairly good degree of competence in translation.8 8 The information about training and working languages was taken from the application forms. Armenian. Turkish. Hindi. there were many with a very good command of their respective language. Italian.64 5. Polish. English. If they had not remained anonymous. They had excellent knowledge of their respective working languages as well as outstanding cultural and translation competences. 178 . Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian.3 "natural" interpretation translation/ interpretation philology law Diagram 2: Type of participants’ previous training and lawyers were classified as persons with existing competences in the field of court interpreting. Punjabi.

to be able to limit the subject areas more efficiently and. as well as of the basic topics of translation. The two-day “advanced course” was partly based on the basic course. asylum interpreting): requirements and competences Legal basis of court interpreting Principles of general communication Principles of institutional communication Professional conduct Note-taking – introduction Note-taking – exercise (German-German exercises) Introduction to whispered simultaneous interpreting After putting the emphasis on the basic principles of court interpreting on the first day of the seminar. on the one hand.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mira Kadric 2. In the field of technical language. the course participants could attend either both seminars or only one of the two. above all with regard to the power structure in the courtroom. The participants were encouraged to work out a system which could be used in the various working languages. analysed and 179 . to make the rather heterogeneous groups of participants more homogeneous by grouping those participants together who had similar interests and background knowledge. the two-day “pilot seminar” could only touch on some topics that are relevant for court interpreting and impart a degree of awareness regarding the complexity of the problems connected with court interpreting.2 Course contents In addition to the introduction to interpretation techniques. In the course of the exercises the professional role of court interpreters was discussed. The following is an overview of the topics of the courses: Topics included in the two-day basic course: • • • • • • • • Overview of the fields of work (court interpreting. the aim of the second day was to introduce the participants to consecutive interpreting (with the use of note-taking) and whispered interpreting independently of their various working languages. The two-day introduction course “Interpretation techniques: basic course” gave an overview of the court interpreters’ fields of work and the requirements connected with this work. The aim of this division was. the introduction to interpretation techniques was split into a “basic course” and an “advanced course”. In order to close this gap in training. According to their interests. and partly had new contents. the respective foreign languages of the participants were also taken into account to some extent. Topics of the two-day advanced course: • • • • • • Introduction to document translation Translation exercises Sight translation Further lessons on note-taking with exercises Exercises and analysis of the work taking account of all the competences acquired during the seminar Mock trial presided over by a judge Technical texts and topics formed the working basis of the “advanced course”. At this point. on the other. two different types of seminar were later offered. The following aspects were trained. the emphasis was put on terms and abbreviations used in court practice. police interpreting. The focus of attention was put on note-taking.

The objective of the evaluation of the questionnaires was to show whether the participants. to their individual working languages. taking the specific working languages of the participants only partly into account. For reasons of space. role boundaries etc. The seminar participants had the opportunity to practise the techniques that they had learned during the seminar in the form of role plays. non-verbal communication. The answers regarding the general set-up and the coaching by the trainer were all very positive. 180 . sight translation. At first sight. ‘exercises’ and ‘individual knowledge acquisition and framework conditions’. the questionnaire was divided into three question groups: ‘theory’. The “theoretical” part of the questionnaire included the contents and the discussion of the following subject areas: overview of the fields of work. The cooperation of a real judge ensured a special dynamics. 2. situational perspectives. The following chapter contains the evaluation of those sections of the questionnaire that are relevant for finding out whether cross-language interpretation training is possible. This trial had a preset scenario based on authentic files.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mira Kadric discussed in particular detail: technical terminology and the expectations of the communication partners within the context of the different kinds of examination. working with defective texts or incomplete text contents. an outline of document translation. whispered simultaneous interpreting. This assessment could not be carried out without questioning the participants about their evaluation of the competences they thought they had acquired individually. it seemed that individual progress was made more difficult by the fact that the seminars had to satisfy different expectations and that they were held only in German. It was also important to find out whether the participants thought they would be able to transfer this knowledge. language registers. with their different languages. real monitoring of what had been learnt in the field of contrastive translation and interpretation was only possible in some individual cases. but their details are not necessarily relevant for the present discussion. This exercise was a particular challenge for the participants because they did not only practice all their newly acquired competences with each other but also tested them in a scenario that was very similar to an authentic trial. 3 Responses and discussion of results In order to facilitate classification and evaluation. only the answers regarding the seminar contents are dealt with here. The third group of questions was dedicated to the individual knowledge acquisition during the seminar as well as the general set-up and the quality of the trainer’s coaching of the group. an outline of note-taking and professional code of ethics. At the end of the seminar there was a mock trial presided over by a judge. explanations. Questionnaires were handed out to all 132 participants and 130 were completed and returned. had acquired new competences in the course of the seminar and whether they could use this knowledge in their jobs. The “practical” part focused on questions about the exercises including: note-taking. After the two-day seminars. so that these exercises resembled authentic trials in almost every detail.3 Evaluation of the seminars The objective of the evaluation of the seminars was to assess the usefulness and efficiency of cross-language courses in the field of interpreting. Hence. the participants were asked to fill in anonymous questionnaires. acquired in German. interpreting in a mock trial.

MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mira Kadric Evaluation of 'theory' by students Structure Informational content Relevance for practice Quality of teaching materials 0 N=130 35.2 37. This question related to the criteria: structure. 4 = satisfactory. 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 21 14 17 11 13 15 13 13 13 130 Total Tab. while the assessment of the ‘teaching materials’ was not quite as good.7 40 60 80 100 Percent 55.1 Evaluation of the theoretical contents As already mentioned.4 30. In the following question the participants were asked to rate the quality of the theoretical part of the seminar according to the following grading scale: 1 = excellent. 1: Quality of teaching materials 181 . the assessment of the “theoretical” contents of the seminar includes all the topics on which the trainer had given lectures. In the later seminars the ratings were better. After the first seminars and analysing the first evaluations. These measures achieved much better evaluations of the teaching materials in subsequent seminars. 3 = good.8 73. the trainer changed and improved these materials and also replaced some material with new one. The results of the evaluation show that the criteria ‘structure’.5 7. 1 shows that it was mostly the participants of the first three seminars who were somewhat unsatisfied with the quality of the teaching materials.3 39. The trainer used handouts. Teaching materials Seminars 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total Excellent 4 3 5 8 6 6 7 5 7 51 Very good 8 5 6 2 4 8 4 7 5 49 6 3 1 1 2 0 1 1 1 16 Good Satisfactory 3 3 4 0 1 1 1 0 0 13 Not satisf. quality of teaching materials.3 20 excellent very good good Diagram 3: Evaluation of ‘theory’ by students 3. informational content. 2 = very good. ‘informational content’ and ‘relevance for practice’ received very positive grades. work sheets and documents in various languages and suggested sources for further reading.8 12.7 3.1 8.8 22.4 60. relevance for practice. Tab. 5 = not satisfactory.

This question was important because of the differences in the participants’ background knowledge. Diagram 4 shows the participants’ evaluation of the entire “theory” section of the seminar according to the same scale as for the questions above: 3. In the first question of this group. relatively important or not important for working as a court interpreter.8 satisfactory Diagram 4: Overall evaluation of theory From a didactic point of view it is important to note that the choice of teaching materials for cross-language courses plays an important role and is a very difficult task.8 4. The opinions of the participants about the relevance of the exercises for their future career and the demands made on them are given below. Diagrams 5. approaches and languages of the participants). with their different educational backgrounds and experience. Its aim was to see whether the seminar succeeded in addressing the participants’ individual needs and in making the appropriate individual demands on each participant. In order to satisfy the various interests of all the course participants. just right or too low. Another question asked the participants whether the demands made on them were too high. on the demands made on the participants and on the quality of cooperation among course participants. The next question dealt with the quality of the cooperation between the participants themselves.8 33.2 Evaluation of the exercises The question group about the “exercises” focuses on the applicability of the various techniques that were practised during the course. very important.9 special didactic competences and special experience on the part of the trainer are indispensable. 182 .MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mira Kadric Overall evaluation of theory 70 60 50 Percent 40 30 20 10 0 60. The evaluation of this question was very interesting given the heterogeneity of the group (different background knowledge.6 excellent very good good 0. in their opinion. 6 and 7 show the results of the above listed questions: 9 The „natural“ interpreters often asked for ready-made solutions for the problems. the course participants were asked to assess whether the contents of the exercises were.

8 too high just right too low Diagram 6: Result of question ‘The demands that you had to fulfill’ 183 .MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mira Kadric The importance of the exercises for your future career: 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Percent 91.8 3.3 3.5 very important partly important Diagram 5: Result of question ‘The importance of the exercises for your future career’ The demands that you had to fulfil were: 100 90 80 70 60 Percent 50 40 30 20 10 0 92.5 8.

Overall evaluation of the exercises 80 70 60 50 Percent 40 30 20 10 0 66. in this case as well. The participants had to rate the exercises according to the following grading scale: 1 = excellent.4 6.8 8. 4 = satisfactory. There are grounds for supposing that.5 very good average not good Diagram 7: Results of question ‘Teamwork with other participants’ As in the “theoretical” part of the questionnaire. The comparison of the individual seminars shows that the course participants were somewhat less satisfied with the first two seminars not only regarding the theory but also with regard to the exercises. 3 = good. 2 = very good. Tab. the reason for this gradual improvement in the participants’ assessment is that.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mira Kadric Teamwork with other participants was: 100 90 80 70 60 Percent 50 40 30 20 10 0 90. Diagram 8 shows the results.9 25. 2 shows the results of the analysis in detail. 5 = not satisfactory. after having gained experience in the first seminars. the last question of this part also asked the participants to give an overall evaluation of the exercises.9 excellent very good good satisfactory Diagram 8: Overall evaluation of the exercises 184 . the trainer could make appropriate improvements in the later seminars.

MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mira Kadric Exercises – overall evaluation Seminars 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total Exc ellent 6 9 13 11 9 12 11 7 9 87 Very good 11 4 4 0 2 2 2 5 3 33 Go od 3 1 0 0 2 1 0 1 1 9 Satisfa ctory 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 Total 21 14 17 11 13 15 13 13 13 130 Tab.3 Personal gain in knowledge The third section of the questionnaire was dedicated to the analysis of the participants’ personal gain in knowledge. The testing of different methods of teaching achieved very good results within this context. 2: Excercises – overall evaluation The result of the analysis of the answers regarding the exercises is very satisfactory. As regards transfer competence. However. which new competences they had really acquired and how satisfied they had been with the framework conditions. above all. 3. Its aim was to find out how much the participants had profited from the seminar and. the aim of the seminar was also to impart new knowledge to those participants who already had competences in this field. ‘some profit’ and ‘no profit’: The knowledge acquired in the seminar The transfer competence acquired in the seminar The behavioural competence acquired in the seminar The self-confidence acquired in the seminar Interchange and discussion with colleagues The aim of the question regarding the newly acquired knowledge was to find out whether the large group of participants who had no background knowledge regarding court interpreting had learned a lot about this new subject matter. the working atmosphere and the trainer. longer periods of observation and evaluations are necessary. Did they acquire new verbal. the cross-language training of practical interpreting remains a largely unexplored area (with the exception of note-taking). paraverbal and non-verbal means of expression? This part of the seminar dealt above all with verbal means of expression and with rendering them with the help of mnemonic aids. participants had to assess how much they had profited from the transfer techniques taught during the seminar. 185 . In addition. In addition they were asked whether the seminar had lived up to their expectations. This part of the questionnaire is of crucial significance for the entire analysis. but for establishing universally applicable methods a broader approach. The first question of this section was: “How much did you profit from the seminar?” The question contained the following five points which the participants had to assess with the ratings ‘great profit’.

7% of the participants claimed to have “greatly profited” from the acquired knowledge in the seminar and 32.6 32. Customers who employ professional interpreters often try to monopolize the interpreters during the communicative situation. and often very different regarding their working languages and professional background had a positive or negative effect on the progress of the seminar.9 great profit some profit no profit 64.3 44. As regards the analysis of behavioural competence. these results can be seen as very satisfactory. The aim of the question was to see whether the potentially negative circumstances that the members of the groups were heterogeneous. around two thirds of the participants thought that they had profited very much from the knowledge that they had acquired during the seminar. 67.3 34.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mira Kadric Behavioural competence is closely connected with transfer competence.8 32. which also play a great role in communication. The aim of the seminar was to teach the participants by means of various exercises that interpreters have to define their role themselves.3% to have “partly profited”.8 66. Another subject How much did you profit from the seminar? Acquired knowledge Transfer competence Behavioural competence Self-confidence Interchange and discussion 32. The rendering of para-verbal and non-verbal expressions during communication can have a great influence on the communicative situation. Diagram 9 shows the participants’ answers in a summarized form.7 63. These differences could actually have brought about a very productive interchange and constructive discussions among participants. taking into account the objective of both communicating parties.6 80 Percent N=130 Diagram 9: Result of question ‘How much did you profit from the seminar?’ 186 . that is German into German. The seminar placed special emphasis on unconsciously expressed signals.3 0 20 40 60 67. Thus. The next point of the question on the competences acquired in the seminar deals with the professional self-confidence acquired during the seminar. If we take into account that some participants (above all those with a degree in translation or interpretation) were already familiar with some of the subject matter taught during the seminar. Exercises with the individual working language(s) of the participants could mostly be carried out only once during one entire seminar. The lectures on transfer competence (note-taking and the exercises) were monolingual. As the course participants had very different backgrounds.6 50. the seminar also focused on how the role of interpreters is understood by those who need interpretation services. the question whether they had profited from the interchange and discussion with each other was very interesting.

interpretation.6% out of the 130 participants who had filled in the questionnaire said they had “greatly profited” from their newly acquired self-confidence. interpreters. the amount to be translated or interpreted and even the partiality towards one of the communicating parties. the tasks and the self-confidence of court interpreters. interpreters. while 53% were participants with a different educational background.1% had “not profited” at all. because…”. In assessing the question on behavioural competence. Both sides expect the interpreters to be “loyal” to them in the sense that the interpreter should represent their individual objectives. The overall evaluation of this point depended. 187 . Those 50. 63.6% of course participants who had “greatly profited” from the self-confidence acquired during the seminar belonged to the group of ‘newcomers’. on how the groups were put together in the individual seminars. language studies or law.6% of the participants had “greatly profited” from the interchange and discussion with their colleagues.8% of the interviewees said that they had “greatly profited” from the newly acquired transfer competence. we can say that the course participants profited in the discussions from the heterogeneity of the groups.3% to have “partly profited” and one participant had ‘not profited’ from this part of the seminar. 44. Translators.3% had “partly profited” and 3. we discussed and practiced situations during the seminar with the aim of dealing with the expectations of the communicating parties and their demands on the interpreters. Let us recall the distribution of participants according to their training: 47% of the participants were translators.6% thought that they had ‘not profited’ as regards this competence. it should be mentioned that during group discussions and exercises on the topic about the role.6% who had “not profited” at all could belong to the group of those participants who had already had training in the field of translation. 64. 32.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mira Kadric matter of the lessons and the discussions was non-verbal means of communication like bodyrelated means of expression and communication objects. At the end of the discussions the “natural” translators and interpreters mostly admitted they had been quite unsure about this issue. participants often had different opinions. The last question about the personal gain in knowledge is also of great importance for this study: “Can you apply the competences acquired in German during the seminar in your individual working language(s) without difficulty?” The participants could choose from three responses: “yes. philologists or lawyers.8% who claimed to have only ‘partly profited’ or the 4. very well”. 34.6% had “partly profited” and two participants claimed not to have profited from this exercise. philologists and lawyers already had a specific image of this profession.8% of the participants claimed they had only “partly profited” and 4. “partly” and “not very well. Regarding this problem. The objectives regarding the role of interpreters are very different among communicating partners in public authorities. A somewhat larger percentage of 50. As regards this issue of acquired selfconfidence. of course. while “natural” translators and interpreters were of the opinion that translating and interpreting was a service and that the client was the one who determined the tasks. 32. 66.9% of the participants claimed to have “greatly profited”. who act as “natural” translators or interpreters. In analogy to these figures we could suppose that those 44. However. which on the one side are the parties and on the other the administrative representatives.

The aim of the seminars was also to motivate the participants to continue developing their competences. An assessment of whether cross-language teaching is more or less successful than language-specific teaching would require the organization of seminars for a specific language and the subsequent evaluation by means of the same questionnaire as used for this one. The participants only recorded their personal view because most of them had no practical experience at the time they filled in the questionnaire. also Gertrud Hofer’s description of similar projects in Switzerland). also important and shows very positive results. 20% of the participants expected to be able to at least partly apply the new competences in their working language(s). 188 . However. of course. the impression of the participants immediately after the seminar is. Of course. 4 Conclusions To sum up we can say that the analysis of the questionnaires filled in by the 130 course participants allows the conclusion that successful cross-language training is indeed possible (cf. the main goal of these seminars was to make the participants aware of the complexity of court interpreting and encourage them to occupy themselves with this subject matter in the future as well. when participating in a communicative situation in a multi-lingual and multi-cultural environment. they should pay attention not only to linguistic but also to non-linguistic aspects of communication and act professionally and within the boundaries of their individual roles.very well partly not very well Diagram 10: Result of question ‘Can you apply the acquired competences in your individual working language(s)?’ 78. thought that they would be able to apply the acquired knowledge very well in their individual working language(s).5 20 yes. these results have only a limited validity. which is the overwhelming majority. It would be very interesting to question the same group after a certain period as to whether they were really able to use the competences acquired during the seminar in actual practice. This means especially that.5% of the participants. However.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mira Kadric Can you apply the acquired competences in your individual working language(s)? 90 80 70 60 Percent 50 40 30 20 10 0 78. The short seminars described above of course surely do not impart all the competences necessary for working as a court interpreter nor could they offer enough practice during their duration of only a few days.

2004. in another country. The Council of Europe. is the unification of the overall framework as well as know-how concerning the didactic implementation of crosslanguage interpretation training. What is still missing. This would also bring a number of economic and practical advantages and more flexibility: students could complete parts of their training in various states and these courses would be counted for their studies at their home university. There is evidence that many EU member states are already successfully organizing such training opportunities on a small scale. for example. Training courses in the respective majority or national language(s) could be offered in the various countries according to the profile established in this framework of reference.11 Such a framework of reference could encompass proficiency profiles and levels of competence for court interpreting and translating. note-taking and preliminary and introductory exercises for various working modes. 10 11 The same approach could underlie a harmonized system of training for interpreter trainers: a standardized program for teacher training and preparatory courses for interpreter trainers could be developed and organized at a European level. The training courses and methods which have already been tried and tested could well be put into practice on a larger scale.10 The results of the three above-mentioned EU projects could form the basis for considerations about a common European framework of reference. The Commission is in great need of qualified court interpreters and this demand could be met by cross-language training. 189 . Unfortunately. however. It would be possible to work out a model which would take into account the minimum standards demanded by the Commission and encompasses the following issues: theoretical principles and problems of interpreting and legal translation. basic concepts of intercultural and trans-cultural communication. the exchange of experience and the elaboration of didactic methods are of crucial importance for developing concrete training measures. This applies above all to the need for interpreters of languages of limited diffusion. the urgent need for qualified interpreters would be met. The most important result of this would be a higher number of graduates as regards languages of limited diffusion that are only offered at a few locations. With a curriculum that would contribute to the fulfillment of the demands written down in the Green Paper we would indeed have a common European denominator. for example. There is already plenty of literature on the subject and a number of possibilities exist to build up networks as well as to introduce a more uniform training concept within the EU. language for special purposes and professional ethics as well as practice-oriented aspects like interpreting techniques and situational behaviour. For more information see Kadric. The coordination of basic training on a larger scale could also facilitate the adoption of standards for a recognized qualification. The larger part of the language-independent training would be completed in the home country and the language-specific training at locations that concentrate on the respective language pairs. In addition. the related knowledge and skills and the situations and domains of communication. which involves active work in language pairs. The most important topics for a potential training framework for court interpreting have become apparent in recent years. the crosslanguage training could. legal systems. This would also be very beneficial for the mobility and the crossborder work of translators and interpreters as well as trainers.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mira Kadric The examples from the study demonstrated that such alternative and cross-language training of court interpreting is not only possible but also very useful. has drawn up a Common European Framework of Reference for Languages to promote multilingualism in Europe. we still lack the necessary networking among the various projects in this field. The Framework describes the competences necessary for communication. the contrastive interpreting training. however. be taken in the home country. In order to achieve this.

166-175. In Official Journal C 012. “Programme of measures to implement the principle of mutual recognition of decisions in criminal matters”. 0010 – 0022. ‘Proposal for a Council Framework Decision on Certain Procedural Rights in Criminal Proceeding throughout the European Union’. In SN 200/ & www. (AGIS project JAI/2003/AGIS/048).2003. Antwerp: Lessius Hogeschool. ---------.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mira Kadric 5 References Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning. (Grotius project 98/GR/131). 2007) (March. Wien: WUV.coe.coe.) (2003): Aequalitas – Equal Access to Justice across Language and Culture in the EU. Utrecht: ITV Hogeschool voor Tolken en Vertalen.2.europa. Antwerp: Lessius Hogeschool. Wien: Verlag Österreich.4. (Grotius project 2001/GRP/015). Revista científica do ISAI 4_en. Keijzer-Lambooy.pdf Kadrić. In: Juridikum 04/4. ----------. Kompetenzen. “Presidency conclusions of the Tampere European Council”. SEK(2004)491 from 28. 15/01/2001 P. Mira (2001): Dolmetschen bei Gericht. Anforderungen. 207-210.europa.(2004): “Generic Training für Dialogue Interpreters: Challenges and Opportunities”.& Scheiber Oliver (2004): „Ausgangspunkt Tampere: Unterwegs zum europäischen Strafprozess“. Porto. http://ec. Heleen & Gasille. Procedural Safeguards for Suspects and Defendants in Criminal Proceedings throughout the European Union: COM(2003)75 final from http://eur-lex. Erik (ed. Erwartungen. http://eur-lex. Assessment (CEFR): www.) (2001): Aequitas – Access to Justice across Language and Culture in the EU. ---------. In Génesis. pdf Green Paper from the Commission. Willem Jan (ed. Teaching.) (2005): Aequilibrium – Instruments for Lifting Language Barriers in Intercultural Legal Proceedings.2004 =COM(2004)328 final.pdf 190 .europa.(ed.

with the aim of identifying those areas of the latter which could benefit from the support offered by an appropriate software tool. and yet students do not always have access to suitable study support and training materials. © Copyright 2005-2007 by MuTra 191 . the article begins with an overview of the interpreter training curriculum (2). Black Box. 1 Introduction The present paper discusses how a CAIT (Computer Assisted Interpreter Training) tool can be integrated into traditional interpreting classes and outlines the main features of one such tool. Black Box. After a short Introduction (1). Black Box. in which the development and testing of a pioneering interpreter training prototype (Interpretations) is described. Section 5 concludes the article by highlighting the main benefits of using such a tool and by outlining future development prospects. The article starts with an overview of the interpreter training curriculum (2) with the aim of identifying those areas of the latter which could benefit from the support offered by an appropriate software tool. In section 4 the main features of the new. Individual practice and group work are as important as class practice. fully-fledged interpreter training tool Black Box are presented and thoroughly examined. and outlines the main features of one such tool. Section 3 briefly introduces the concept of CAIT (Computer Assisted Interpreter Training) and describes the development of a pioneering interpreter training prototype (Interpretations). The encouraging response obtained during testing and demos has led to the development of a new. The interpreter training curriculum places strong emphasis on students’ autonomous practice.EU-High-Level Scientific Conference Series MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Annalisa Sandrelli (Forlì. fully-fledged CAIT tool. Bologna) Designing CAIT (Computer-Assisted Interpreter Training) Tools: Black Box Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 Introduction The interpreter training curriculum and learner autonomy Developing a CAIT prototype tool: Interpretations From Interpretations to Black Box Conclusions: best practice and future developments References Abstract The paper discusses how a CAIT (Computer Assisted Interpreter Training) tool can be used to support the teaching and learning of interpreting. Section 5 concludes the article by outlining the main benefits of using a CAIT tool and future development prospects. The concept of CAIT (Computer Assisted Interpreter Training) is briefly introduced in (3). whose main features are presented and discussed in (4).

in which interpreter training follows translator training. conference interpreting is a relatively young academic discipline and although the literature on interpreting pedagogy and interpreter training exercises is now fairly abundant. there does seem to be significant homogeneity in the curriculum model adopted around the world. However. Indeed. as regards the interpreting curriculum and interpreting pedagogy. their ability to analyze texts. Finally. Mackintosh concludes: “Although there are differences in the approach to interpreter training. To my knowledge. there is widespread agreement on some basic principles. the profession itself had taken to setting its own standards and defining its own objectives” (Caminade & Pym 1998:282). Nevertheless. the Y-model.1 Whatever the type of training program. In short. these seem small enough to justify the claim that there does in fact exist a training paradigm. and the course structure should reflect actual market demands. 1999). However. established in the Fifties and Sixties. The creation of AIIC (International Association of Conference Interpreters) in 1953 greatly contributed to the setting of professional standards. until the comprehensive review carried out by Sawyer (2004). the only available publications were course profiles or discussions of the merits of specific training activities. 192 . particularly as regards working language combinations. the situation is less clearly defined. in which students have to choose between translator and interpreter training at the beginning of the course. aimed at verifying their language skills. were essentially vocational training courses based on the teachers’ professional experience: “The people teaching in them [translator and interpreter training institutions] were often professional interpreters and translators. parallel training. external examiners from international or national organizations should be present at the final examining sessions. including working conditions and professional ethics. and their general knowledge. Renfer (1992) identifies four models of translator and interpreter training adopted all over the world: the two-tier system. Students should be trained in both consecutive and simultaneous interpreting. as shown by the AIIC recommendations on the criteria that must be met by interpreter training courses (Mackintosh 1995.1 Curriculum structure The first interpreter training courses. Sawyer is the only researcher to draw from educational theory and curriculum theory to develop a revised 1 A similar classification is suggested by Mackintosh (1999: 73). in which students choose between translator or interpreter training after a common trunk and postgraduate interpreter training. Professional ethics must be taught and interpreter trainers must be practising interpreters themselves. there are very few published contributions on the overall structure and contents of the interpreter training curriculum.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Annalisa Sandrelli 2 The interpreter training curriculum and learner autonomy 2. applicants to conference interpreting courses should have a university degree or equivalent and must pass an entrance exam. derived from a widely recognized and practised interpreting paradigm” (Mackintosh 1995:129). In another review of training programs.

SL) segment. Seleskovitch claims that interpreting should always be taught from the foreign language (B) into the native language (A) because it is only in the mother tongue that students possess the necessary expressive abilities (Seleskovitch 1989:87). that is. do for consecutive. to some extent. the interpretive theory denies the existence of any specific language-pair difficulties. consecutive interpreting. 2. decides on his production and checks it all over again. have also developed different pedagogical methods. Finally. the material is de-verbalized. but resisting the interference caused by contact between the two languages and the temptation to transcode whole phrases without really understanding them.2 It follows that the main difficulty in interpreting is not finding TL equivalents. As regards the pedagogy of interpreting. and that consequently teaching methods are not language-specific. among others. autonomy from SL structures can only be acquired over a period of time: a language-specific focus in the teaching of SI can facilitate the process. developed by Seleskovitch and Lederer in the Seventies. and so on. TL).MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Annalisa Sandrelli curriculum (for the Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation of the Monterey Institute of International Studies). the incoming words on which the interpreter bases his assumptions. Chez l’interprète inexpérimenté. In pedagogical terms. Similarly. syntaxiques de la langue étrangère. summarizing a text in the booth. Here. it does not give students any suggestions of how to solve the problem of TL reformulation. morphologiques. the two leading schools of thought that have produced models of the interpreting process. il oublie les mots qui ont été pronocés et ceux qu’il a dit lui-même. However. mais il retient les informations qu’il a comprises et réexprimées” (Seleskovitch and Lederer 1986:143). which is then re-formulated in the target language (henceforth. although Seleskovitch and Lederer recognize that interference is common in SI. but it definitely does not suffice for simultaneous interpreting. sémantiques. The (more or less marked) syntactic differences between the two languages involved do not fundamentally affect the processes at work in interpreting. interpreting narrative speeches (visualization techniques). among other factors. namely the interpretive theory and the information processing approach. as pointed out by Kalina (1994:253): The advice frequently given to student interpreters to forget about the words and concentrate on the meaning is well-meant and may. stripped of its linguistic form to retain only the sense. identifying key words in a text. The interpretive theory has been very influential for over thirty years now and its training methods have been applied successfully on generations of interpreters. postulates that after the interpreter has perceived the first source language (henceforth. training. a very brief overview of the two training models is presented to justify the choices made during the development of Interpretations. “La simultanéité des opérations d’audition et d’expression pousse à suivre les modèles phonétiques. In his extremely interesting contribution. the author discusses a wide range of issues including admissions. The types of exercises suggested for simultaneous interpreter training are. For in simultaneous. while the interpretive theory provides a simple model of text analysis and comprehension. it is. However. il s’ensuit 193 . monitors them. and so on.3 no specific 2 3 “A mesure que l’interprète traduit. Seleskovitch and Lederer claim that the deverbalization process is at the core of any type of interpreting. final assessment procedures. Furthermore.2 The interpretive theory and simultaneous interpreter training The interpretive theory (or “Paris School”).

Seleskovitch and Lederer’s rejection of SI into the B language goes against market requirements in many countries: in other words. and sight translation. while there is still some controversy over the usefulness of shadowing. 2. Therefore.3 The information processing approach and simultaneous interpreter training The information processing model of simultaneous interpreting breaks down the interpreting process into a number of subcomponents (Moser 1978). a common feature to all the courses is their intensive nature. Lambert’s cognitive method (Lambert 1989). Although there are some differences among the various methods. specific training must be made available to them during their course of studies in order to best equip them for the task ahead. including Moser’s own set (Moser 1978). Moser. Training must be gradual “… by progressing from easy to more difficult. since many students will have no choice but offer interpreting into B as well as into A. Lambert. Van Dam and Kalina suggest different versions of the cloze drill aimed at developing anticipation skills. it could be said that. In short. and paraphrasing. which is still one of the main controversial points in interpreting pedagogy (Déjean Le Féal 1997. Kurz 1992. Exercises to develop students’ linguistic flexibility and to teach repair techniques to be used when working under pressure (such as sight translation. combining them into progressively more intricate structures” (Kurz 1992:245). There are several examples of sets of exercises developed on this basis. Kalina’s preparatory exercises (Kalina 1992). Van Dam’s strategies for simultaneous interpretation (Van Dam 1989). complemented by an even higher number of self-study hours during which students are expected to practise. isolating problems and focusing on variables one at a time and. Simultaneous interpreting is seen as a complex activity requiring the concurrent use of several interdependent sub-skills.4 Simultaneous interpreting and autonomous learning To summarize this brief overview of interpreter pedagogy. All the supporters of the information processing approach agree that specific training is needed to cope with simultaneous listening and speaking and to manage the time lag between SL and TL speeches. there is widespread agreement among the supporters of the information processing approach on the usefulness of paraphrasing. Kalina and Lambert include variations of the shadowing task among their preparatory exercises. the pedagogical methods developed on this basis aim to develop the skills needed to perform each operation. among others) are included in all the exercise sets. 2. and many more. Interpreter training courses that follow this approach begin with a preparatory phase in which a variety of exercises and drills are used to enable trainees to develop the skills needed to interpret. Finally. A recent example is the European Masters in Conference Interpreting non seulement des calques occasionnels mais un psittacisme généralisé […]” (Seleskovitch and Lederer 1986:149). they all include a number of monolingual and bilingual exercises. despite the differences among the many interpreter training institutions. and Schweda Nicholson 1990).MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Annalisa Sandrelli exercises or techniques are suggested to tackle this problem. abstracting. Likewise. They usually involve a high number of contact hours. Lambert 1992. 194 . at a later stage. clozing.

and self-assessment. TV. 195 . and an interesting study on assessment practices was recently carried out by Hartley et al. The program is based on the expectation that the number of class contact hours. three hours of individual practice are expected if students are to achieve satisfactory results. radio. TV. practice of interpretation. the feedback session may include one or more of the following: teacher assessment. group work hours and self-directed study may total no less than 1. beginners are at risk of picking up incorrect habits which may be difficult to eradicate later on (Déjean Le Féal 1997). the EU and international organizations) and a number of optional modules (EMCI 2005. Internet. radio. peer assessment. After an extensive review of 4 For example. attested by the relatively high number of publications in recent years and the compilation of a specific bibliography on the issue by Shlesinger (2000). Furthermore. during which trainees’ performances are assessed by the trainer and/or peers. use of information sources e. although recordings or handouts for practice sessions are sometimes selected by trainers. the development of self-assessment skills is an essential component of interpreter training. Indeed. Whenever training materials are not made available by teachers. students need to be able to assess their own performance and identify their weaknesses. in an outline of the two-year interpreting course offered at ESIT in Paris. consecutive interpretation. Another common component to many interpreter training courses is tutor demonstration (Altman 1989): the trainer’s performance is presented as a model of expected quality standards. Although students certainly need to develop good information searching skills for their future careers. The latter includes five core components (theory of interpretation. simultaneous interpretation. whilst advanced students may reasonably be expected to work autonomously during their selfstudy hours. of which a minimum of 75% will be devoted to interpreting practice. very little research has been carried out on evaluation and assessment in training. Their aim was “…to facilitate learner autonomy in trainee interpreters by providing them with explicit and detailed guidelines for peer. and then try and follow his or her example. a postgraduate degree offered by a number of European universities that have agreed on a common curriculum. (2003). Seleskovitch and Lederer (1986:166) specify that for every hour of class attendance. background reading. co-assessment (teacher and students together). Most interpreting classes include a feedback session. students are expected to find suitable speeches in the faculty video/audio library. preparation of glossaries etc). Despite the interest in evaluation and quality in professional interpreting. Mackintosh 1999). Trainees are often asked to carry out a self-evaluation as well.e. 2003b).000 hours.g. A number of assessment grids have been developed in interpreter training institutions for use in class (see for example Schjoldager 1996 and Riccardi 2003).and self-evaluation” (Hartley et al. students will be expected to devote time to group practice of simultaneous and consecutive interpreting and other self-directed learning (i. if unsupervised practice sessions are to be useful. credits and attendance requirements may vary. students are expected be able to identify the features which make the trainer’s performance a high-quality one. 2002b. on the Internet. as pointed out by Mackintosh (1995:126). Depending on the course structure and trainer’s class plan.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Annalisa Sandrelli (EMCI).4 It must be noted that in most cases these self-study hours are unstructured and unmonitored. Moreover. In other words. they may not always the best judges of what is suitable for their particular training stage (Sandrelli 2002a. but the expectation that trainees will engage in assiduous individual and group practice is always present. 2003:2). In other universities outside the EMCI consortium. Participating institutions have explicitly recognized the important role played by individual study activities within the degree course (EMCI 2005): The program will normally offer no fewer than 400 class contact hours. and so on. In addition.

the acquisition of interpreting skills by trainees requires not only professional guidance during classes. In particular. there is huge variation in students’ understanding of some attributes commonly used to evaluate an interpreting performance. In other words. including. and the 196 .1 Basic overview of the project Interpretations was the practical output of a doctoral research project carried out at the University of Hull (UK) between 1999 and 2002 with financial support from the European Commission under the Marie Curie Training and Mobility of Researchers Program. trainee conference interpreters rely heavily on group practice and feedback from peers – targeting both language proficiency and communicative competence – to advance their interpreting skills and performance. to improve their selfassessment skills. However. therefore. play the major role in judging and assessing trainee interpreters' performance. for example. an assessment grid was compiled for subjects to use in assessing a number of interpreting performances. along the lines of what was being done through Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) for foreign language teaching and learning. the European Association for Computer Assisted Language Learning. many if not most interpreter training programs still apply a trainer-centered approach where expert-trainers. Hartley et al. which makes interpreter training a prime candidate for the development of dedicated computer software. which revealed that the ability to assess and describe quality interpreting evolves with training. the latter is very trainer-centered. As was mentioned in (2). accuracy and fluency. This brief analysis has shown that the structure of most interpreter training courses relies heavily on autonomous learning. The C & IT Centre for Modern Languages (formerly CTI Centre for Modern Languages) of the University of Hull used to host EUROCALL.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Annalisa Sandrelli the available literature. and particularly trainees. not as a replacement of interpreting classes. the implementation of such software tools will require a shift in the educational approach.6 which had produced the only existing computer 5 6 EU contract number ERBFMBICT983512.5 The software was developed in cooperation with Jim Hawkins. as the source of expertise and authority. (2003:2) neatly summarize the situation as follows: Currently. the basic idea was to investigate how to exploit the potential offered by computer technology to complement teaching methods traditionally used in interpreter training. In this sense. preferably through co-assessment exercises carried out in class. need extensive guidance. In reality. students. However. The following section 3 outlines how the Interpretations project aimed to address these concerns. The University of Hull was at the time the headquarters of the EUROCALL association and lead site for the TELL Consortium. trainers. CAIT (Computer Assisted Interpreter Training) tools should be seen as a useful integration to traditional methods. professional interpreters and users were involved in the study. Trainees. an experienced computer program who had already been commissioned to undertake software development work by the University in connection with other projects. but also extensive practice outside these hours […]. As this brief description of interpreter training has highlighted. 3 Developing a CAIT prototype tool: Interpretations 3.

as well as pictures of the user interface. and interpret it consecutively into the target language. 3.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Annalisa Sandrelli package for the teaching of liaison interpreting (Italian-English). 197 .ac. The rationale for this choice was that only those exercises aimed at developing the specific skills required for simultaneous interpreting would be included in the program. i. in that as an authoring tool. in that tasks were selected in order to isolate and develop those sub-skills deemed to be necessary in simultaneous interpreting. teachers can record a speech easily through the authoring interface. However.hull. In the end. a multimedia environment in which training materials could be created for any language combination on the basis of the resources available to teachers. teaching materials are organized in a tree structure comprising three levels. 2002b. What follows is a brief description of the interface. anticipation. if conference recordings are unavailable or unsuitable. courses. A detailed discussion of the merits of the individual tasks. linguistic flexibility. See www.3). who can combine video. and text (in digital form) to create exercises. audio. video and textual resources to create exercises tailored to their students’ needs. so that teachers who do not like paraphrasing exercises. to facilitate both software development and testing. no rigid modular structure is imposed. a major collaboration in software development involving more than 30 universities and more than 30 CALL packages. may well choose to create simultaneous interpreting exercises only. modules and exercises: for Interpretations user interface and authoring functions In Interpretations.e. and simultaneous interpreting with text. a review of the available CALL literature and a close study of the many CALL packages available in the EUROCALL library soon revealed that the development of an authoring tool would be much more useful. however. a feature that is particularly useful to adapt authentic conference materials to the students’ level of expertise. Long video and audio recordings can be broken down into several sections by using a specific editing device to create different exercises. the interpreter training literature was also studied very carefully in order to identify the most commonly-used exercises and activities in interpreter training which should be supported by the CAIT tool. namely Interpr-It (Cervato and de Ferra 1995). Since the project was aimed at developing a prototype to verify whether Computer Assisted Interpreter Training was both viable and desirable. Therefore. Authoring functions are only accessible to teachers. sight translation and simultaneous interpreting. they could be expected to be able to identify key concepts in a text. It was assumed that the potential users of Interpretations would be beginners in simultaneous interpreting who had already received training in consecutive interpreting. can be found in Sandrelli (2002a. Similarly. summarize it. Before Interpretations could be developed. However. and so on. paraphrasing. it was decided to target a specific user group with specific needs. However. Sight translation is a module. if they so wish. such as simultaneous listening and speaking. Simultaneous Interpreting from English into Italian is a course. The prototype includes functions to create the following types of exercises: shadowing and clozing. for example. However. the overall prototype design reflected more closely the information processing approach (see 2. it enables teachers to combine audio. 2003a and 2003b). The original idea was to produce two CD-ROMs with training materials in Italian and in Spanish aimed at English-speaking trainee interpreters. teachers can TELL Consortium. exercise selection was made difficult by the controversies in simultaneous interpreting pedagogy mentioned in section 2. and the specific pedagogical material prepared by the teacher for a sight translation is an exercise. it should be stressed that the program does not impose any specific pedagogical methods. However.

e. however. so much so that paraphrasing tasks are being used in aptitude tests for entrance examinations in some institutions (Russo and Pippa 2004). and a written translation of the SL text may also be included. traditional and timed sight translation. The program is also equipped with a dedicated device (pitch tracker) which generates a graph representing the variations in the student’s voice pitch during the performance. they must also understand the meaning of the speech. repeating word for word) the text. All written texts can be annotated by means of a dedicated word processor called Sandie. so as to simulate the time pressure under which simultaneous interpreters work. Overall. in order to give teachers the tools to create different kinds of interpreting assignments.g. After each session. terminology. vocabulary. Indeed. including the software evaluation questionnaire used. which makes it possible to create up to five different categories of notes. Finally. and were given a five-minute interview on various aspects of interface design. including intonation and pauses. Interpretations creates a user folder where all of their work can be saved for future reference. A full description of testing procedures and results. are included. When students log on to the program. When tackling any exercise. software evaluation sessions were organized in collaboration with the Schools for Interpreters and Translators of the Universities of Trieste and Bologna (Forlì). available tools. students can record themselves and save the recording as an audio file. simultaneous interpreting exercises. ease of use. a necessary skill in both their native and foreign languages. teachers can add instructions and information about each speaker and speech. exemplified by Dejéan Le Féal’s following comment (1997:617): “… since it is perfectly possible to shadow a speaker without even attempting to understand what he is trying to get at. 37 students took part in the evaluation. The sight translation exercise is included in the program both as a preparatory exercise for simultaneous interpreting and as a technique of its own which students must master in order to meet market demands. research has shown that the ability to paraphrase can be considered an indication of aptitude for interpreting. Since the program is meant to be primarily a practice support tool for the students’ selfstudy hours. to give students a demonstration (see 2.4). grammar. This modification of the shadowing task makes it suitable for interpreter training by addressing the often-raised objection that shadowing is harmful. shadowing may indeed lead students to commit the worst possible methodological error in SI: mindless parroting”. Paraphrasing is another monolingual exercise that was included in the design of Interpretations to enhance students’ linguistic flexibility. This section presents only a brief overview of the main points which emerged from the evaluation. students get used to overcoming the physical difficulty of simultaneous listening and speaking. etc. The tool enables students to monitor the prosodic aspects of their performance.3 Interpretations evaluation When the program reached a satisfactory development stage. Students indicated the following features as the key assets of Interpretations: gradual introduction to simultaneous interpreting through 198 . It is available in two different modes. in which the text scrolls up according to a pace established by the teacher. e. The shadowing and clozing exercise combines the repetition of a spoken text in the booth with an oral fill-in-the-gap task. Students can watch video clips or play audio clips. cultural references. By shadowing (i.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Annalisa Sandrelli provide a recording of their own interpreted rendition. can be found in Sandrelli (2003b). students were asked to fill in a questionnaire. 3. and so on. with and without written transcripts of speeches. in order to fill the gaps. and display any available written texts at the same time.

including functions for creating consecutive and liaison interpreting exercises. The positive response obtained during testing and in conferences and workshops convinced us that CAIT is indeed both viable and necessary. Westminster. individual feedback. video subtitling functions. The authoring system enables teachers to record satellite TV and radio broadcasts and digitize VHS and audio tapes very easily.K. and is now available on the market. which means that the language teacher’s computer is connected to the students’ computers. Sussex. students suggested that teachers should include a teacher’s demonstration in all the exercises. For example. It was decided that. 4 From Interpretations to Black Box 4. Other useful indications emerged regarding a number of desirable additional features. the universities of Leeds. teachers can use an integrated subtitling package and the interpreter training module Black Box. for students to do at home and then submit to the teacher for feedback. we decided to continue working in this direction. This makes it possible to create and distribute language-learning materials to students (the whole class or groups of students) very fast across the local network. Section 4 describes the main feature of a new. Aarhus and Paris. The digital classroom runs on a local area network (LAN). fullyfledged CAIT tool which has been developed in collaboration with Melissi Multimedia Ltd. communication tools for sending and sharing files and obtaining feedback. since all the necessary materials and tools are organized and ready to be used in a dedicated environment. background information about topics and speakers. Students also highlighted that working with the software is less time-consuming than traditional work in the it would include a dedicated interpreter training module. autonomous learning. The latter aspect is worth highlighting: when creating exercises for the self-study hours. video and text).melissi.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Annalisa Sandrelli preparatory exercises. The students of both universities also gave suggestions for improvement. audio and text helped them concentrate on content and aided 199 . Prague. precisely because the teacher is not there to help and answer questions.1 The Melissi Digital Classroom7 In 2002 Melissi Multimedia Ltd (U. Therefore. Copenhagen. Most comments centered on the need to increase the degree of interactivity between users and software and the quantity of information available to users. In 2001 and 2002 Interpretations was demonstrated in several interpreter training institutions. a teaching guide in the Help menu explaining in detail the aims of each activity. Most students declared that the availability of video. as well as many functions for creating and distributing language-learning exercises. to produce exercises rapidly and efficiently.) was set up to design and manufacture a revolutionary new digital language laboratory for the University of Hull. and text analysis exercises centered on the speeches. and simulation of professional working conditions. a dedicated text editor for glossary work and other written work. Granada. called Black Box. the Melissi Digital Classroom. 7 Web address: www. interpreting teachers need to bear in mind that students need access to more information than is generally considered necessary. including Lessius Hogeschool (Antwerp). As well as traditional language learning activities (involving any combination of audio. both as an additional training aid and to develop specific professional skills.

Teachers prepare teaching materials through the Exercise Wizard. he or she can also give individual. 200 . Modules and Exercises (the Course level that existed in Interpretations was deemed redundant and was therefore dropped). Southampton.2). The digital classroom is proving very popular with universities in the UK. There is also a text-based message system (“chat”).e. personalized feedback without stopping the rest of the class via the same system. a Web browser. 1. a file compression and storage system.8 Given the amount of interest that was expressed for Interpretations and for the Black Box module by language departments and interpreter training departments. and some UK government departments. which enables teachers and students to communicate in writing in real time. 4. Melissi Multimedia Ltd. After selecting the “new exercise” option. Prior Pursglove 6th Form College and Stockton 6th Form College. i. as well as a more sophisticated text editor for annotating texts. and the Melissi Wave Viewer. The teacher can listen in to what students are doing at all times thanks to the voice-message system. which is an advanced version of the Pitch Tracker tool available in Interpretations (see §3. symbolized by the mobile phone icon. Black Box was released in March 2005 and includes dedicated authoring functions to create simultaneous. In Black Box teaching materials are organized on two levels. and Bath. or individual users to send them materials to work on. Landau Forte College. Middlesex. The system also features an integrated word processor. that can be seen in Fig. as well as higher education colleges. Portsmouth (4 classrooms). simultaneous interpreting with audio or video. consecutive and liaison interpreting exercises. groups of them. decided to develop Black Box as a stand-alone program as well. including Regent’s College. timed text 8 A list of selected current customers includes the universities of Hull (2 classrooms). and a wide range of additional tools which will be briefly described in the present section. and several new and improved user functions. as well as sight translation exercises. The list of logged-on users appears on the left hand-side of the screen and the teacher can select all of them. teachers are asked to choose from among three pre-defined exercise types.2 Black Box authoring functions The Black Box authoring system includes all the features of Interpretations in a more streamlined form. where it was developed.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Annalisa Sandrelli Through the interface teachers have control over the work done by all the students who are logged on to the system.

and consecutive/liaison interpreting. and so on. as these two techniques are often used in noisy environments. comprehension questions. it loads only the specified part of the video or audio clip in the exercise.g. teachers want to replicate the structure of a particular exercise to create a series of similar activities. This is a useful function to break up a long speech into several clips. on the other hand.10 9 The presence of additional resources (written texts or recordings) is indicated by special icons which appear in the top part of the screen.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Annalisa Sandrelli Fig. teachers can select specific fragments from a source clip by applying the dedicated entry points (“set mark in” and “set mark out” buttons). Therefore. in order to simulate realistic working conditions. including instructions to students. If.). 201 . language enhancement activities.9 Moreover. a teacher’s interpreted version of the speech (an audio recording). they can select the “existing exercise layout file” option to speed up the process. particularly when working as a freelance on national interpreting markets. which. a written translation of the speech. without having to physically edit the recording with an audio/video editing software program: when the system reads the entry points. There is also a “custom” option to enable teachers to create other types of activities. that is. Clearly. text analysis exercises. written exercises (e. the Wizard makes it possible to add many more resources. the program requires teachers to indicate the resources they want to include in each exercise. etc. 1: Exercise Wizard (sight translation). However. media files (audio and/or video clips) and written materials. poor-quality equipment may be found in simultaneous interpreting as well. However. in a simultaneous interpreting exercise the only essential elements are a video or audio clip and a transcript of the speech. After choosing the exercise type. 10 Reference is here made to consecutive and liaison interpreting in particular. are not always perfect. Teachers can also manipulate the sound stream by adding an echo effect and/or a sound distortion. as is well-known. interpreter training should reflect these less-than-ideal working conditions as well to prepare students to work under difficult conditions.

select the bitmap as the source file for a scrolling text exercise and specify the time in which students will have to translate the text on-sight. and so on. like all other exercises).e. Black Box features an on-screen keyboard which can be displayed. 2: Black Box Editor and on-screen keyboard The Black Box Editor makes it possible to create Smart Text. lines of text) that will be displayed. 2). the written task is automatically loaded in the Editor. Text is presented to students in a scrolling cylinder which advances at the pace established by 202 . 2). For languages with special characters. The Editor is also used by students to carry out written work. technical terms. When teachers associate a language-enhancement exercise to an interpreting exercise. teachers open the Exercise Wizard. Web links can also be inserted into the text. which is a more sophisticated version of Sandie. The Editor can also be used to make bitmaps for timed sight translation exercises (created by using the Exercise Wizard. A Rich Text Format file is loaded in the Editor and the background texture is chosen for the bitmap from among a number of choices. Six categories of notes are available. as well as the amount of context (i.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Annalisa Sandrelli Even the “basic” form of a simultaneous interpreting exercise can be enriched by annotating the source text transcript by means of a dedicated text editor.2). grammar. moved and re-sized (see Fig. cultural reference. The different categories of notes are displayed in different colors and can be switched on and off by students when they are reading the text. and can be clicked on to launch Internet Explorer directly. the editor available in Interpretations (see 3. as well as the character map to be found in the Editor. When students click on the Editor icon. Then. and the labels for these categories are chosen by teachers: for example. When students read the text. Fig. by selecting a word or a phrase and inserting a “hot footnote” by clicking on a dedicated button. the written exercise is opened automatically by the program. they will be able to see the note made by the teacher simply by moving the mouse pointer over the “hot” word. The Black Box Text Editor has all the standard features of word processor and a few special functions (see Fig.

e. 3). The text can be made to scroll upwards or downwards (for sight translation exercises which start from the end of the text). Fig. All the files making up an exercise are bound in one individual file with a “. 3: A sight translation exercise: scrolling text Fig.bbx2” extension. which means that it is impossible for the teacher to forget important materials (i.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Annalisa Sandrelli the teacher (see Fig. 4: Module maker 203 .

incidentally. a CD or DVD image can be produced with all the media files stored in the Black Box’ media directory. The books icon is the Open files option. if it is more convenient. 4). 204 . enabling students to browse at available exercises. it can be published in three different ways. projects. there are plans produce localized versions in a number of languages. When the module is ready. 5: User interface: a simultaneous interpreting exercise. Thus. video clip window. let us have a look at the user interface. thanks to the Module maker (Fig. Exercises are selected and added to the module list in which they will appear in the order students should tackle them.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Annalisa Sandrelli a video clip or a fill-in-the-gaps exercise) at home. with all the icons arranged along the top and bottom of the screen.3 Black Box student user features After describing the authoring functions available in Black Box. with annotated SL transcript. respectively). they can be distributed to students on CD-Rom or DVD. Moreover. Firstly. or. Student recordings can be compressed extremely quickly for storage on pen-drives or floppies. depending on storage space available and intended use of the materials: all the media files can be included in the module. In the top left hand-side corner there are five icons. which makes it easy and intuitive to use and. 12 Black Box uses the Ogg Vorbis “open source” technology. which makes files approximately 10 times smaller. 5). modules. it must be noted that the system is fully icon-based. and module design can be saved for future use. easy to localize as well (see Fig. if Black Box is installed on a LAN. since the only materials that need to be translated are the help guides and the various icons and buttons. 4. recordings and media.12 Fig. teaching materials can be stored in a dedicated directory where students will find it. 11 Indeed. or the media files can be left out altogether. when a number of exercises have been created. The order can be modified before the module is published by using the dedicated arrows. they can be bound into one module. SL speaker’s and student’s waveforms (top and bottom halves of the Melissi Wave Viewer.11 The interface is clutter-free.

The stereo controls are self-explanatory. The green ball is the icon indicating Black Box’s additional plug-ins. a bookmarking tool. the whole recording can be played back and the student will hear the SL speaker’s voice alternating with his or her own. This means that a student listens to the SL speech. Students can also slow down the SL speech whilst they are playing it (but not whilst recording). which. or when students’ SL comprehension is still imperfect.2) and the module contents icon. Under the teacher’s guidance. but a short description of how to use the “record” button when performing a consecutive or liaison interpreting exercise is needed. on the other hand. feature two volume boost buttons which increase the volume of the SL and TL speeches respectively. If students want to monitor the prosodic aspects of their performance. then records his or her interpretation. At the end of the exercise. which displays all the exercises available in a module. This brief overview of the main features of Black Box has highlighted the great teaching and learning potential of the program. can be used to carry out written work. for example when they hear an unknown word or expression. The audio controls. The spanner icon is the audio mixer to alter default audio settings. The tool shows students the general prosodic patterns of their performance. from language exercises to glossary preparation.2). to better focus their attention on their own delivery and presentation. students can go back to those specific items simply by clicking on the relevant bookmark. the Wave Viewer can be used to increase students’ awareness of the importance of prosodic aspects and to pinpoint specific problems in their delivery. or décalage) or. which visualizes frequency variations in the SL speaker’s pitch as well as in the interpreter’s rendition (see Fig. successful implementation depends on the choices made by individual institutions and teachers. Black Box offers them another tool. rewind. Next to it are the web browser icon. Along the bottom of the screen there are some “portable stereo” controls (play. However. the on-screen keyboard icon (see 4. 5). The top right hand-side corner features another five icons. the Wave Viewer. as well as a tool to exit the exercise and module. record). This tool is particularly useful to beginners when SL speakers have a strong accent (regional or foreign). without significantly altering the speaker’s voice pitch. that is. At the end of the dialogue.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Annalisa Sandrelli The pencil icon is Black Box Editor. The bookmarking feature enables students to insert eight bookmarks in any given video or audio file whilst playing it. 205 . The video controls make it possible to gradually re-scale the video window. audio controls (headset icon) and video controls (computer monitor icon). with the original speech track off. which includes a general Black Box guide (aimed primarily at students) and an authoring guide for teachers. there are separate SL speaker’s and interpreter’s volume control bars as well. there is a swap mouse button plug-in for left-handers. pause. and so on. some extra functions that can be added to customize the program. Moreover. then listens to the following SL fragment. from miniature size to full screen. Black Box simulates consecutive and liaison interpreting by allowing students to alternate between the SL speech and their own rendition and storing both tracks in a single file. including a visual representation of their pauses (blank parts in the graph).2). which means that after an exercise trainees can play back their own rendition with the SL speech in the background (for example. alternatively.13 The two cubes to its right are the Exercise Wizard and the Module maker (see 4. as was extensively explained in (4. to monitor their time lag. especially as regards the educational 13 For example. whereas the question mark activates the help file.

and then highlighting the possible sources of difficulties for students. Moreover. etc. teachers can feel confident that the self-study hours actively work as reinforcement activities and contribute to consolidating the techniques and principles presented in class. The following. Moreover. accents. as was discussed in (2. depending on the level of expertise they have achieved. Thanks to the file compression option. by giving them the tools to work in a dedicated environment. 5 Conclusions: best practice and future developments Black Box has been developed as a CAIT tool to support the teaching and learning of interpreting. Thus. correctly interpreting the Wave Viewer graph. the program enables them to save time and practise in a more structured and effective way. flexible tool. including cultural references. etc. to complement existing teaching methods in interpreter training. Black Box makes it possible to establish a strong connection between class activities and self-study hours: for example. working with the program does not necessarily mean working alone. speaking styles. for example. places strong emphasis on students’ autonomous practice. Moreover. specific syntactic structures.e. TL production errors. They can play the SL clip more than once. Moreover. including.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Annalisa Sandrelli approach used (see 2. An important aspect of the program is all the post-task activities designed to make students aware of their strong and weak points.). they can also take home their recordings over a period of time and store them to monitor their progress. Similarly. a single curriculum does indeed exist. No trainee can attain the required standards just by attending classes. teachers can use the first part of a recording in class and then make the rest available to trainees through the program. the SL speaker’s accent. and so on. finding suitable audio or video tape recordings or a speech transcript. They can repeat the same exercise several times.1). comparing one’s recording with the SL speech transcript. language-pair related aspects. As regards the students. comprehension errors. depending on their comprehension skills. students need to be taught how to carry out the self-assessment activities made possible by Black Box. And yet. assessment criteria are often too vague and unclear to students. Black Box is an attempt to respond to these challenges. In other words. Students can work in pairs or small groups on the same materials and swap their recordings to give each other feedback. if. both to ensure progress and to maintain quality standards in their future careers as professional interpreters. Individual and group work are an important part of any interpreter training course. or they can give them to their teachers to obtain feedback. Clearly. identifying omissions. as was shown by Hartley et al. (2003).4).4 has highlighted that selfassessment skills and the ability to assess other interpreters’ performances are essential for trainees. they need to be shown how to identify the differences between their own 206 . By providing teachers with a user-friendly. they can obtain the individual focus that is not always possible in a class situation. and yet students do not always have access to suitable study support and appropriate practice materials. it is hoped that they will exploit to the full the opportunities offered by today’s mass media and technology to take the (comparatively little) time to create materials for students’ self-study hours. The interpreter training curriculum. i. materials produced with Black Box by different universities could be exchanged to save time and expand the range of available speeches (topics. one of the main benefits that Black Box can provide is self-pacing: students can take their time to study the teacher’s notes. section 2. final section (5) presents some conclusions and ideas for future developments. Creating interpreter training exercises in the program is no more time-consuming than preparing class materials in the traditional way. the style of the SL speech. that is. etc. Finally.

it must be noted that such developments can only be envisaged with the cooperation of a number of different institutions. the new “realistic” interface would also make it possible to organize special practice sessions on relay interpreting. a chat function. The integrated use of CAIT software could contribute significantly to training without in any way reducing required standards. the first Melissi customer to equip its interpreting lab with Black Box. For example. 14 In this regard. new functions can be planned to make practice sessions with Black Box even more similar to actual interpreting assignments: for example. the interface layout could be changed to resemble more closely an interpreting booth with all its switches and buttons. in which the degree of interactivity among participants (and therefore available feedback) could be increased through the implementation of an internal e-mail system. along the lines of what is already possible in the Melissi Digital Classroom (see 4. has recently set up a two-year research position in Interpreting which includes. Distance learning of interpreting is not impossible: indeed. a bulletin board. including universities and educational software development companies. Delivering courses via the Web presents a number of technical and pedagogical problems. If the program were installed on a LAN.lessius-ho. The above are just examples of simple additions that could be made to Black Box to further increase its teaching and learning potential. in order to train students to use the relevant switches. in the present globalized economy it seems likely that in the near future there will be increased pressure to reduce the duration of interpreter training courses and increase the range of an interpreter’s working languages in order to meet market demands.1). it is already possible to envisage the use of a server from which students could download exercises onto their machines to use them off-line (thus avoiding altogether any technical problems). primarily to help students transcribe and analyze their own performances more easily. with the drive towards stronger European integration and the European Union enlargement process. 207 . assisting in a peer and self-assessment project based on Black Box (see: www. However. For a start. This is particularly true in Europe. these courses only make use of the Internet and e-mail as communication tools. among other tasks. there is already an example of distance courses in court and health care interpreting offered by the Vancouver Community College in Canada. In other words. but it is certainly not as far ahead as one might think. Moreover. In this Riccardi 2003) and its inclusion in the exercises provided can give students reliable indications. It is hoped that this paper may contribute to sparking off a debate on these important challenges that will affect the education and training of future generations of interpreters.14 As regards future developments of Black Box and CAIT in general. However. especially if it is illustrated and discussed in class in coassessment activities led by trainers. by making it possible to collect large quantities of data (completed assessment grids and recordings of interpreted performances) already in digital form and available in a compact electronic environment. However. whereas teaching materials are distributed on VHS and CD-Rom. the development of an assessment grid such as the ones mentioned in (2. it is easy to envisage new and improved ways of using Black Box in a LAN environment. and so on. if it is available. the use of Black Box could also open up interesting research prospects on assessment. a class forum. students need to be taught in class how to assess their own performances in order to be able to do it properly when they are alone.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Annalisa Sandrelli rendition and the teacher’s version. We are also looking into the possibility of adding a speech recognition element to the program. particularly on the differences between teacher assessment and students’ self-assessment. the real challenge that lies ahead is certainly the development of a Web-based virtual learning environment (VLE) for interpreter training. In this respect.4) (Schjoldager 1996. it should be noted that Lessius Hogeschool (Antwerp).

Granada: Editorial Atrio. Pradas Macías. Meta 49(2): 409-432. in G. Gerver and H. Emanuela and Donatella de Ferra (1995) ‘InterprIt: A Computerised Self-Access Course for Beginners in Interpreting’. Milano: Led Edizioni Universitarie di Lettere Economia Diritto.M. Caminade. in D. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.M. Annalisa (2002a) ‘Computers in the Training of Interpreters: Curriculum Design Issues’. A. Christopher (1992) ‘Translator and Interpreter Training: A Case for a Two-Tier System’.). 67-80. Janet (1989) ‘The Role of Tutor Demonstration in Teaching Interpretation’. Riccardi. 261-293.) (2003) Nuevas tecnologías y formación de intérpretes. Bologna: CLUEB. Stévaux (eds) La evaluación de la calidad en interpretación: docencia y profesión. Meta 42(4): 616-621. Renfer. Sandrelli. Alessandra (2003) Dalla traduzione all’interpretazione. in Gran & Dodds (eds). 208 . Collados Aís. Sinaiko (eds) Language Interpretation and Communication. London & New York: Routledge. Ingrid (1992) ‘Shadowing’ exercises in interpreter training’. Lambert. Studi d’interpretazione simultanea. Kalina.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Annalisa Sandrelli 6 References Altman. E. Granada: Editorial Comares. Cay and Anne Loddegaard (eds) (1992) Teaching translation and interpreting: training. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag. -----.) Routledge Encyclopaedia of Translation Studies. -----. M. -----.(1992) ‘Shadowing’. in Dollerup and Loddegaard (eds). Laura and John Dodds (eds) (1989) The Theoretical and Practical Aspects of Teaching Conference Interpretation. Sgall. Interpreting 4(1). Cervato. Jettmarová. Sylvie (1989) ‘La formation d’interprètes: la méthode cognitive’. M. talent and experience. New York: Plenum Press. Russo.(1999) ‘Interpreters are Made not Born’. in de Manuel Jerez (coord.(2002b) ‘El papel de las nuevas tecnologías en la enseñanza de la interpretación simultánea: Interpretations’. de Manuel Jerez. W. C. Garzone. Monica and Pym Anthony (1998) ‘Translator-training institutions’. Udine: Campanotto Editore. Moser. Mariachiara and Salvador Pippa (2004) ‘Aptitude to Interpreting: Preliminary Results of a Testing Methodology Based on Paraphrase’. Rothkegel and D.(2003b) ‘New Technologies in Interpreter Training: CAIT’. Jennifer (1995) ‘A Review of Conference Interpretation: Practice and Training’. Dejéan Le Féal. Sylvia (1992) ‘Discourse Processing and Interpreting Strategies – An Approach to the Teaching of Interpreting’. 67-112. 237-240. Gerzymisch-Arbogast. Mead (eds) Perspectives on interpreting. Baker (ed. Mackintosh.(2003b) ‘Herramientas informáticas para la formación de intérpretes: Interpretations y The Black Box’. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Target 7(1): 119-133. Kurz. Gran. Dollerup. Viezzi and P. in A. in M. Barbara (1978) ‘Simultaneous Interpretation: a Hypothetical Model and its Practical Applications’. in H. 245-250. 280-285. in Dollerup and Loddegaard (eds). -----. 353-368. E. Jesús (coord. 251-257. Jahrbuch Übersetzen und Dolmetschen 4/II. 174-184. 211-223. 189-204. Fernández Sánchez. Z. Hajičová & P. Rothfuß-Bastian (Hrsg) Textologie und Translation. in Dollerup & Loddegaard (eds). -----. Meta 34(4): 736744. Sánchez Adam and E. Karla (1997) ‘Simultaneous Interpretation with «Training Wheels»’. Perspectives: studies in translatology 2: 191-204. The Interpreters’ Newsletter 4: 15-24.

David B. Curriculum and Assessment. Paris: Didier Erudition. Web links AIIC Training Committee. Schjoldager. Gracie Peng and Isabelle Perez (2003) ‘Peer and Self-Assessment in Conference Interpreter Training’: http://www. Miriam (2000) ‘Evaluation Issues in Interpreting: a Bibliography’. in W. Seleskovitch.and Marianne Lederer (1986) Interpréter pour traduire. Ian Mason. 167-176. The Translator 6(2): 363-366. Dollerup and V. -----. in C. Ine M.aiic. (1989) ‘Strategies of Simultaneous Interpretation’. Anne (1996) ‘Assessment of Simultaneous Interpreting’. in Gran and Dodds (eds).) Translator and Interpreter Training and Foreign Language Pedagogy.ltsn.88.aspx#lang1 209 . Appel (eds) Teaching Translation and Interpreting 3: New Horizons.htm EMCI (2005): http://www. 3: 65. Van Schweda (2004) Fundamental Aspects of Interpreter Education. The Interpreters’ Newsletter 3: 33-37.lang.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Annalisa Sandrelli Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Krawutschke (ed. -----. Shlesinger.emcinterpreting. ‘Advice to Students Wishing to Become Conference Interpreters’: http://www. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Nancy (1990) ‘The Role of Shadowing in Interpreter Training’. Paris: Didier Marianne Lederer (1989) Pédagogie raisonnée de l’interprétation. Tony. Danica (1989) ‘Teaching Conference Interpreting’.cfm/article25 Black Box: www.

However.e. Hearing aids are sufficient for many hearing impairment people.EU-High-Level Scientific Conference Series MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Susanne Wagner (Halle) Intralingual speech-to-text-conversion in real-time: Challenges and Opportunities Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 The need for real-time speech-to-text conversion The challenges of speech-to-text-conversion in real-time Methods of real-time speech-to text conversion Text adaptation Presentation format Perspectives References Abstract Intralingual speech-to-text-conversion is a useful tool for integrating people with hearing impairments in oral communication settings. for them. S. © Copyright 2005-2007 by MuTra 210 . However. be able to receive and process the physical signal. spoken or signed – in a very rapid and effective way. Consequently. g.. Series of words are produced – i. If people who are severely impaired in their hearing abilities want to take part in oral communication. In some countries laws stipulate that at least authorities and official institutions provide information in a form which is also accessible for people with an impairment. they speak to other people and hear what other people say. if hearing aids are insufficient. councelling interviews or conferences. People who are deaf or hard-of-hearing do not have equal access to spoken language. precondition 2 is not fulfilled. To use language means to express an unlimited amount of ideas. 1 The need for real-time speech-to-text conversion Language is a very fast and effective way of communicating. thoughts and practical information by combining a limited amount of words with the help of a limited amount of grammatical rules. The paper introduces and discusses different techniques for intralingual speech-to-text-conversion. in recent years. auditory information has to be provided in a way which can also be detected visually or haptically by people with a hearing impairment (cf. know the words and grammatical rules the speaker uses and 2. is increasingly reflected by national governments. the transfer of speech into written language in real time requires special techniques as it must be very fast and almost 100% correct to be understandable. Most people use oral language for everyday communication. The result of language production processes are series of words and structure. they need a way to compensate their physical impairment1. 1 To provide access to oral communication situations for hearing impaired people is an issue of fairness which. i. Wagner et al. Any person can follow such language production processes and understand what the person wants to express if two preconditions are fulfilled the recipients must: 1.e. e. their ability to receive speech is impaired. 2004).

into the visual domain. the physical ability to perceive the speech signals. people with hearing impairment may insist on a word-by-word-transfer of spoken into written language because they do not want a third person to decide which parts of a message are important (and will therefore be transferred) and which parts are not. sign language interpreting is not an option — as for many Hard of Hearing people and people who became hearing impaired later in their life or elderly people with various degrees of hearing loss. However. Interlingual translation aims at transferring messages from one language into another language. Auditory events which are realized as noises or speech melodies would often not be transferred because normally hearing people can interpret them by themselves. Speech-to-text-translation (audiovisual translation) of spoken language into written text is an upcoming field since movies on DVDs are usually sold with subtitles in various languages. for people with a hearing disability who do not know sign language.g.e. This postevent transfer process is time-consuming and often difficult. 211 2 . a transfer of spoken words into written text is the method of choice. In the latter case. Neves. the time shift involved in the transfer into a readable text means a delayed access to the spoken words. The aim of an intralingual audiovisual transfer is to provide all auditory information which is important for the understanding of an event or action. How this can be achieved best. intralingual audiovisual transfer for people with hearing impairment might mean that every spoken word of a speech has to be written down and that all relevant auditory events from outside of the speech have to be described. too (interruptions. Moreover. The classical way to realize an intralingual speech-to-text transfer is to stenotype a protocol or to record the event and to transfer it into a readable text subsequently. For them. since auditory events easily become ambiguous outside of the actual context.g. access to spoken information must be given in real-time. The translation into sign language is one method and it is best for people who use sign language as a preferred language. irony or sarcasm) need to be transmitted into the visual (or haptic) channel. intralingual audiovisual transfer for people with hearing impairments addresses primarily precondition 2. in other words: they need an intralingual speech-to-text-conversion. This translation process combines classical interpreting with a transfer from spoken language patterns into written text patterns. noises). As a result.g. However.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Susanne Wagner spoken language has to be transferred into a modality which is accessible without hearing. First of all. While the original language is given auditorily. The intralingual audiovisual transfer differs in many aspects from the interlingual audiovisual translation between two languages. Interlingual translation primarily addresses the lack of knowledge of the original language. Moreover.e. i. is a question of present and future research and development (cf. in this book). the first precondition for understanding language. The audiovisual transfer from the spoken original language into other languages which are presented in the subtitles can be called an interlingual audiovisual translation. the intralingual audiovisual transfer would exclusively satisfy the physical ability to perceive the speech signal (precondition 2). i. for counselling interviews. many Deaf people do. the classical methods do not work.e. at the doctor’s or at conferences. e. They prefer their native oral language given in a visible modality. it does not help people with hearing impairments in the actual communication situation. For these purposes. as e. subtitles provide a translated version in another language at the same time visually. Words as well as non-language sounds like noises or hidden messages which are part of the intonation of the spoken words (e. There are two main methods to transfer auditory information into a visible format. i.

forthcoming) This list could be easily continued. What are the challenges of realtime speech-to-text conversion that make its use so rare? 2. 212 . If children are not sufficiently exposed to spoken language. As a consequence. also has to be addressed. even the professional typing rate is certainly not high enough to transfer a stream of spoken words into a readable form in real-time. the written form does not help their understanding. the written transcript has to be adapted to the language abilities of the audience . Since the average speaking rate is about 150 words per minute (with some variance between the speakers and the languages). (cf. access to the contents of spoken language in a way that they e. their oral language system may develop more slowly and less effectively compared with their peers. 1991. As a result.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Susanne Wagner 2 The challenges of speech-to-text-conversion in real-time Real-time speech-to-text-conversion aims at transferring spoken language into written text (almost) simultaneously. for people with limited access to spoken language at a young age. An example from the hearing world would be a parliamentary debate which ends with the electronic delivery of the exact word protocol presented to the journalists immediately after the end of the debate. However. many people with an early hearing impairment are less used to the grammatical rules applied in oral language as adults and have a less elaborated mental lexicon compared with normal hearing people (Schlenker-Schulte. the language proficiency of the audience. language proficiency might differ also for people with cultural backgrounds different from a majority group. 2. Three different techniques will be discussed in the following section “methods”. However.while the speech goes on.e. i. see also Perfetti et al.1 Time A good secretary can type about 300 key strokes (letters) per minute. they also have to know which words and phrases can be exchanged by equivalents which are easier to 2 Apart from people who were born with a more severe hearing impairment. This gives people with a hearing impairment. conferences or when watching a sports event live on TV. Another scenario for real-time speech-totext-transfer is a live broadcast of a football match where the spoken comments of the reporter are so rapidly transferred into subtitles that they still correspond to the scene the reporter comments on.g. Speech-to-text service providers not only need to know their audience. most people with a hearing disability do not receive real-time speech-to-text services at counselling interviews. people with other mother tongues or people with learning difficulties. 1:1 transfer of spoken words into written text may sometimes not be very helpful. Eugeni. If words are unknown or if sentences are too complex. 2000 with respect to reading skills among deaf readers)2. Most parliamentary protocols are tape recorded or written stenotyped and subsequently transferred into readable text. The consequence for intralingual speech-to-text conversion is that precondition 1. become able to take part in a conversation within the normal time frame of conversational turn taking.2 Message Transfer The main aim of speech-to-text transfer is to give people access to spoken words and auditory events almost simultaneously with the realization of the original sound event. the speed of typing has to be increased for a sufficient real-time speech-to-text transfer.

even the 90+x% accuracy in automatic speech recognition does not occur by itself. computer assisted note taking (CAN) and communication access (or computer aided) real-time translation (CART). The text is not fixed in advance. people will read at their individual reading speed. 3 Methods of real-time speech-to text conversion There are three methods that are feasible when realizing (almost) real-time speech-to-text transfer: speech recognition. The reason for this is that the speech recognition process is based on a match of physical parameters of the actual speech signal with a representation which was generated on the basis of a general 213 . Word-by-word transfer enhanced by a description of auditory events from the surroundings as well as adaptations of the original wording into easier forms of language must be possible. with respect to the conditions under which these methods can be properly applied and 3. In order to be recognized. however. The challenges of real-time speech-to-text conversion can now be summarized as follows: 1. Some regional speaking characteristics (dialects) are generally only poorly recognized. in their ability to generate exact real-time transcripts. a successful real-time presentation must match the reading abilities of the audience. The methods differ 1. Physical changes in voice quality (e. and the control of the reading speed shifts at least partly over to the speaker and the speech-to-text provider. This.1 Speech recognition Automatic speech recognition (ASR) technologies today can correctly recognize and write down more than 90% percent of a long series of spoken words for many languages. 1999: accuracy).e.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Susanne Wagner understand. Presented with a written text. the presentation of the written text must be optimally adapted to the reading needs of the audience. even after extensive training. with respect to the amount of training which is needed to become a good speech-totext service provider. instead new words are produced continuously and readers must follow this word production process very closely if they wants to use the realtime abilities of speech-to-text transfer. even this high percentage is not sufficient for speech-to-text services. the speaker has to train the speech recognition system in advance with her/is voice and speaking characteristics. Because of this interaction of writing and reading. They need to know techniques of how to make the language in itself more accessible while the information transferred is preserved. 3.g. Moreover. the written words must be presented in a way that is optimally recognizable and understandable for the readers. it becomes possible to meet the expectations of the audience with respect to the characteristics of a written text. since 96+x% correctness is needed to provide a sufficient message transfer (Stinson et al. the text is written and read almost simultaneously. 2. to be fast enough in producing written language that 2. from a flu) can result in poorer recognition results. This issue will be discussed at the end of the paper in section “presentation format”. 2. is not possible in real-time speech-to-text conversion. However.3 Real-time presentation of the written text Reading usually means that words are already written down. i. Moreover. and how grammatical complexity can be reduced. Aspects of how language can be made more accessible will be discussed in the following section “text adaptation”. 3. Here.

speech recognition can be used for realtime speech-to-text conversion if a person re-speaks the original words. Linguistic knowledge. The short-term solution for this problem is that a person. no special training is required. The most restrictive factor is that automatic speech recognition systems are not (yet) capable of recognizing phrase. Therefore. Moreover. has to re-speak the speech of the speaker with explicit punctuation commands and speaker identification. A soundshielded environment is useful. With respect to the need of an excellent signal-to-noise-ratio. Moreover.: Although the single words are readable. who has trained her/is speech recognition system extensively with his/her speaking characteristics. the recognition rate of ASR would in principle be high enough to transfer every spoken word into written text in real-time. However. the output from an automatic speech recognition system is a stream of words without any comma or full stop. speech recognition is an option especially for live subtitling and conferences where the speech-to-text conversion can be made in a studio or sound shielded room. This would not be possible with automatic speech recognition. It makes it possible to adapt the spoken language for an audience with limited oral language proficiency. 214 . the words would not be assigned to the different speakers. With re-speaking.system has to be trained. it is certainly not an option for noisy surroundings. speech recognition systems can meet challenge number 1 (writing speed) under good circumstances. linguistic knowledge and a kind of “thinking with punctuation” is necessary to dictate with punctuation marks. Summary of speech recognition Automatic speech recognition is not yet an option for speech-to-text transfer since phrase. For the user it is sufficient to speak correctly. If the individual physical parameters differ from those of the training sessions. However. In this case.” (Stuckless 1999) Automatic speech recognition today fails as far as challenge 3 is concerned.and sentence boundaries (but see Leitch et al. Re-speaking has advantages though. But there are limitations which have to be taken into account. accuracy might go down to below 80 percent. Re-speaking is primarily necessary for including punctuation and speaker identification but also for adapting the language to the language proficiency of the audience.and sentence boundaries are not recognized. However. 2002). An example from Stuckless (1999) might illustrate how difficult it is to understand such a stream of words: “why do you think we might look at the history of the family history tends to dictate the future okay so there is some connection you're saying what else evolution evolution you're on the right track which changes faster technology or social systems technology. however. recognition is less successful. Apart from an intensive and permanent training of the speech recognition engine.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Susanne Wagner phonetic model of language and the phonetic and voice data from the individual training sessions. Real-time speech-to-text conversion with speech recognition systems does not require special technical knowledge or training except for the fact that the SR. The use of a speech recognition systems does not require any special training. if background noise decreases the signal-to-noiseratio. is necessary for the chunking of the words and for adaptations of the wording. the output of automatic speech recognition systems is almost not understandable for any reader.

Therefore. even professional writing speed is not sufficient to write down every word of a speech. On the one hand. the note taking person needs to learn either the abbreviations of the shortto-long dictionary or the rules of short-phoneme/grapheme-to-long-grapheme conversion the dictionary is based on. The resulting ambiguities (e.g. Here. On the basis of a set of shortening rules. the amount of time which is needed for people to learn and to prevent them from forgetting the abbreviations once learned increases with the increase in the size of the dictionary. However. This system uses phonetic rules to minimize the key strokes for every word. the typing speed of CAN-systems is not high enough. With CAN-systems like C-Print.g. a message-to-message rather than a word-for-word transfer is produced. For word-for-word transfers. the captionist is able to write with a higher speed. The so called “auto correction” translates given or self defined abbreviations into the corresponding long forms. this kind of dictionary is limited insofar as the user has to know every abbreviation. the writing speed is still limited so that word-for-word transcripts are rather unusual. To enhance writing speed. 215 . abbreviation systems are used in computer-assisted note taking which minimize the amount of key strokes per word. However. Elaborated systems like C-Print use rule-based short-to-long translations. small systems are incorporated in almost every word processing software. orthographic transcription rules turned out to be rather complicated – at least in English. systems like C-Print are often based on a set of rules which are in turn based on a phonetic transcription of the spoken words. the higher the typing speed potential. as was discussed earlier. However. even with C-Print. One rule could be that only consonants but not vowels are written down. On the other hand. ‘hs’ for ‘house’ and ‘his’) have to be resolved by a second rule. Individually made dictionaries are mostly a collection of abbreviations like ‘hv’ for ‘have’ and ‘hvt’ for ‘have to’ etc. every word appears in its long form.2 Computer-assisted note taking (CAN) With computer-assisted note taking (CAN). Consequently. However. The efficiency of CAN systems is mainly determined by the quality of the dictionary which translates the short forms into the corresponding long forms. On the screen. The quality and speed of the transfer depends on the kind and quality of the dictionary which translates abbreviations or shortened words into the corresponding readable long forms.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Susanne Wagner 3. there are very elaborated and well developed systems like e. The note taking person types abbreviations or a mixture of abbreviations and long forms. the note taking person does not write certain graphemes but phonemes of the spoken words. a person writes into an ordinary computer what a speaker says. Realizations of CAN systems are widespread. The better the dictionary. An abbreviation-to-long-form dictionary translates the abbreviations immediately into the corresponding long form. Summary of CAN-systems: CAN-systems can be used for real-time speech-to-text conversion if a message-to-message transfer is sufficient. the captionist has to learn the rules of transcription. Linguistic knowledge is necessary for adaptations of the wording. To use a CAN-system. After a period of training with the system. This allows for a high quality message transfer. C-Print which has been developed at the National Technical Institute for the DEAF at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT 2005).

) HRAEUPLBG STPH T PAOEPL WAPBT TO*F KAL KUL BLT APBD STABLT FPLT The parallel typing with CART systems results in a high typing speed which is sufficient for word-for-word transcripts in real-time. The limitations of CART are located outside of the system. 150 words per minute). CART-systems can be used in silent or noisy surroundings. Seyring 2005) can illustrate the advantage with respect to typing speed: a) typing on a normal keyboard: 88 strokes Ladies and Gentlemen! The people want to have calculability and CART systems can also be used for message-to-message transfers since they allow adaptations of the wording in real-time. The second limitation of CART is the costs for the steno system of around 10. Summary of CART-systems: CART systems are highly flexible tools for real-time speech-to-text conversion.e. For high frequency words or phrases. The phonemes of a word are typed on a steno keyboard which allows the coding of more than one phoneme at a time. abbreviations are used. if the audience is not interested in word-for-word conversion.3 Communication access real-time translation (CART) Communication access real-time translation (CART) uses stenography in combination with a computer based dictionary. . the down keys code the middle sound and the right keys of the keyboard code the final sound of the syllable. the education of the speech-totext provider is one of the most limiting factors of CART systems. typed with up to 10 fingers. The phonetic code of the words or the respective abbreviation is immediately translated into the corresponding long form by a sophisticated dictionary. one syllable by a simultaneous key press with up to all 10 fingers: The left keys on the keyboard are used to code the initial sound of the syllable.stenocom.the long period of training which is needed to become a good CART provider . However.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Susanne Wagner 3. b) Same words in machine steno code: 12 strokes (The code between two spaces is 1 stroke. cf. An example (taken from www. The phonetic transcription reduces ambiguities between words and allows real-time accuracy levels of more than 95%. It is thus possible to code e.g. prefixes and suffixes.000 Euro. their efficiency mainly relies on the education of the person who does the writing. Moreover. 3-4 years of intensive education with a lot of practicing are the minimum for a person to become a CART speech-totext provider who produces text in sufficient quality (less then 4% of errors) and speed (ca. i.the costs of the steno system 216 . They can be used in noisy or silent surroundings for word-for-word as well as for message-to-message transfer.

Speech for instance is less grammatical and less chunked than text.000 € steno machine 1. too. People who become C-Print captionists learn to use text condensing strategies which is mainly aimed at reducing key strokes (RIT 2005) but might also reduce grammatical complexity and lexical problems. 217 .months None 1. p. congruency errors easily cause misinterpretation in reading.4 Comparison of Speech Recognition.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Susanne Wagner 3. A less skilled audience might be overstrained especially with complex syntactical structures and low frequent words and phrases. However.000 € notebook (+ licence for the dictionary) 3-4 years None ~ 10. While intonation may alleviate incongruencies in spoken language. 2005. the speech-to-text provider might also be asked to adapt the written text to the language proficiency of the audience.and CART-systems Speech Recognition with re-speaking Exact word protocols Yes Computer-Assisted Note-taking Communication Access Real-time Translation Language adaptations Education to use the method Special conditions Cost of equipmenti Possible with respeaking Some hours for initial training of SR-system Minimum background noise 100-200 € SR-system 50-100 € good microphone (opt.and field-specific. a recent study on the effects of summarizing texts for subtitling revealed that “summarizing affects coherence relations.1). A correction of grammatical slips might be necessary. A real-time speech-to-text conversion . The know how of text adaptation with respect to the needs of the audience is highly language.) 1. for word-for-word conversions and even more corrections my be necessary for an audience with less language proficiency. the challenge of word-for-word transfer shifts to the challenge of message transfer with a reduced set of language material. The transfer from spoken into written language patterns is only one method of text adaptation. CAN. computer-assisted note-taking and communication access real-time translation in comparison. As discussed earlier. 4 Text adaptation Spoken and written forms of language rely on different mechanisms to transfer messages. S/he also has to know how to split long and complex sentences into simpler structures to make them easier to understand.000 € notebook (+ licence for the stenolonghand dictionary) Table 1: Speech recognition. Here. The speech-to-text provider therefore needs to know whether a word or phrase can be well understood or should better be exchanged with some more frequent equivalents.even if it is a word-for-word service . making them less explicit and altering the implied meaning” (Schilperoord et al. but needs a lot Yes of training and a sophisticated dictionary Yes Yes some weeks.has to chunk the continuous stream of spoken words into sentences and phrases with respect to punctuation and paragraphs in order for the text to be comprehensible. Further research has to show whether and how spoken language can be condensed in real-time without affecting semantic and pragmatic information.000 Euro notebook almost.

for slower readers. Reading might be less hampered by a presentation line-by-line. Further research will have to show whether this kind of text adaptation on word-. As a consequence. 218 .MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Susanne Wagner For German. The eyes have to look for the word and restart reading it.and text level (in German called “Textoptimierung”) can also be realized in real-time.g. 1998). Cremer 1996.or CART-systems are not yet developed for many languages. used in C-Print (cf. 5 Presentation format The last challenge of real-time speech-to-text transfer is the presentation of the text on the screen in a way that reading is optimally supported. and our eyes are trained to move in saccades (rapid eye movements) on the basis of a kind of preview calculation with respect to the next words (cf. Wagner et al. elaborated dictionaries as they are needed for efficient CAN. A word-by-word presentation as a consequence of word-for-word transcription could result in less precise saccades which subsequently decreases the reading speed.rit. However. Sereno et al. But in real-time speech-to-text systems. Schulte 1993. However. Without those dictionaries. the text appears consecutively on the screen and new text replaces older text when the screen is filled. Finally. The optimal presentation of real-time text for as many potential readers as possible is an issue which is worth further research. the online presentation at http://www. also line-byline presentation might be problematic since the whole “old” text is moving upwards whenever a new line is presented. 2004). Linguistic research has to find easy but efficient strategies for the real-time adaptation of the wording in order to make a message understandable also for an audience with limited language proficiency. the optimal presentation of moving text to an audience with diverging reading abilities is a fascinating research field not only for real-time speech-to-text services but with respect to the presentation of movable text in general. The need to think about the presentation format is given as the text on the screen is moving which is a problem for the reading process. not only from the perspective of real-time transcription but also for subtitling purposes. sentence. it has already been shown that test questions can (offline) be adapted linguistically without affecting the content of the question. That is. 6 Perspectives Real-time speech-to-text transfer is already a powerful tool which provides people with a hearing impairment access to oral communication.html#T11C). as it is e. the systems can not be used. many words and structures can be replaced by equivalents that are easier to understand (cf. We usually read a fixed the word which was actually fixated by the eyes moves out of the fovea and becomes unreadable.

2005. Sara C. Stuckless.liberatedlearning.ntid. Fall VillingenSchwenningen: Neckar-Verlag. Sonderdruck.Information Technology 6.pdf. Ross (1999): “Real-Time Speech-to-Text Services”. Stinson. Hörgeschädigtenpädagogik 4. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education 5(1). Ross (1999): “Recognition Means More Than Just Getting the Words Right”. 346-352. visited: July. 32-50. Neuroreport 9(10). http://www.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Susanne Wagner 7 References Cremer. Michael & Horn. Christoph & Brodowsky.htm. Vienna (to be published in the Proceedings 2007). visited: 23.rit. Christa (2004): „Accessible Multimedia: status-quo. 21. Wagner. Sereno. Eugeni. Nic (2005): “Nonverbatim Captioning in Dutch Television Programs: A Text Linguistic Approach”.netac. Carlo(forthcoming): “Respeaking”.speechtechmag.Sehen – Verstehen in Arbeit und Alltag.29005. & Rayner. trends and visions”. Christa (ed. Christiane (2004): “Einfache Texte – Grundlage für barrierefreie Kommunikation“. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education 10(4). Schlenker-Schulte. Jahrgang. 402-416. David & MacMillan. Inge (1996): “Prüfungstexte verstehbar gestalten“. Lehre und Praxis zur Rehabilitation von Menschen mit Behinderungen (WB XXXVII). Heidrun (2005): “Computer-compatible stenography”. Trish (2002): “How Students With Disabilities Respond to Speech Recognition Technology in the University Classroom . Harry & Stuckless. VillingenSchwenningen: Neckar-Verlag. visited: July.08.08.2005.): Barrierefreie Information und Kommuniaktion: Hören .stenocom. Christa (1991): Konjunktionale Anschlüsse. Perfetti.08. (1998): “Establishing a time-line of word recognition: evidence from eye movements and event-related potentials”.edu/cprint/. http://www. Untersuchungsergebnisse zu Grundelementen kommunikativ-sprachlichen Handelns bei hörgeschädigten und hörenden Jugendlichen. Keith & Posner. Seyring. Walter & Schlenker-Schulte. In Schlenker-Schulte. To be presented at the MuTra Conference ‘LSP Translation Scenarios’. Villingen-Schwenningen: Neckar-Verlag. 2195-2200. National Technical Institute for the Deaf (2005): “C-Print Speech-To-Text-system”. Joost & de Groot. 21. Wagner. Vanja & van Son. Michael I.Final Research Report on the Liberated Learning Project”. visited: 219 . Rebecca (2000): “Reading Optimally Builds on Spoken Language: Implications for Deaf Readers”. last visit: 23. Susanne & Prinz. Klaus (1993): Fragen in Fachunterricht. IT .com/research/FINAL%20YEAR%20III%20LLP%20REP ORT. Speech Technology Oct/Nov 1999. Judy & Levitt. WBL. 2005. http://www. Leitch.html. Reihe: Wissenschaftliche Beiträge aus Forschung.rit. 30. Winter 2000. Ronald & Bierstedt. http://www. Susanne & Kämpf de Salazar. Christy & Larson. Ausbildung. Rochester Institute of Technology. Schilperoord. Prüfung. http://www. 30 April – 4 May 2007. Charles & Sandak. 50.

University of Dortmund. Germany © Copyright 2005-2007 by MuTra 220 . K. Saarbrücken. study 2 requires a higher degree of computational literacy than does study 1. Andreas Groh6. Homburg-Saar. Deutsche Blindenstudienanstalt Marburg e. Marburg. The present study concentrates on informational aspects related to the transformation of visual into haptic data. Germany 3 Scientific Library (Chair: N. Saarland University. 1 2 Department for Computer Sciences VII (Chair: H. Saarland University. Remberger). Germany Maxillofacial and Plastic Facial Surgery (Chair: R. Germany 7 Institute for Medical Informatics (Chair: S. Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt. Although both tasks are based on a transferal of histological slides into a polygonal mesh the degree of complexity differed considerably with the respective task. Werner Liese4. Lübeck. Feiden). Saarland University. J. West Indies 4 Carl Strehl Schule (Head: M Weström).V. Kingston. Jamaica. Müller). Amenu-Kpodo). Germany 5 Institute of Neuropathology (Chair: W. Germany 8 Institute of Pathology (Chair: K. Mathias Wagner8 Contents 1 2 3 4 5 Introduction Materials and Methods Results Discussion References Abstract Virtual reality can be used to simulate features of specific materials in order to provide a sense of direct contact with the simulated object. Pöppl). Frankfurt am Main. The current trial was conducted to compare two studies. University of Lübeck. Andreas Uebing1. Homburg-Saar. Robin Wünderlich1. Germany 6 Institute for Applied Mathematics (Chair: A. University of the West Indies. Future studies need to incorporate touch into virtual environments to enhance realism of virtual medical environments and to make biomedical sciences more accessible to blind and visually impaired individuals. Sader).. Roland Linder7. Marc Dohrmann1. Mona. YooJin Kim5. Tereza Richards3. Roman Kaczmarczyk1.EU-High-Level Scientific Conference Series MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner (Saarbrücken) How to Make a Haptic Device Help Touch Virtual Histological Slides Frank Weichert1. Study 1 was carried out to help teach blind and visually impaired people histology while study 2 was initiated to generate the basis for simulated facial cleft surgery. Despite the fact that both studies relied on well-established methods in computer graphics and haptic rendering. Dortmund. This led to a hypothesis of why the tranfer of visual to haptic data is not often reported in the biomedical sciences. Andreas Streng1. Louis). Constantin Landes2.

In order to do this. the blade cuts slices of paraffin that contain the tissue. Once cells and tissue have been fixed. The transformation of pictoral information into a tactile representation is the common trunk (Fig. followed by xylene. Usually. 2003. Fixation provides rigidity to the tissue as cross-linking covalent bonds are formed between and within the amine groups of the tissue. 1. The slices are teased apart and floated onto a glass slide. Common fixatives used for light microscopy and histochemistry often include formaldehyde (formalin) as most histological staining methods. they are placed in an oven to “bake” the paraffin. the macromorphology of the specimens is documented. they can be kept indefinitely at room temperature as fixation makes it easier to section the sample. A haptic device can convert pictoral data into tactile information.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner 1 Introduction 1. Once the wax-tissue complex is allowed to solidify it forms a block that can be held in a microtome for plain sectioning. The field of surgery (as in Study 2 see below) may for instance benefit from surgeons trained in simulations (Montgomery et al. The tissue is usually kept in the fixative overnight. histochemistry). Large samples are then sectioned for further processing while small samples are directly processed for histochemical staining. Different staining techniques are available to color components of interest 221 . tissue samples are then embedded in a material with mechanical properties similar to their mechanical properties which eases subsequent slicing with a microtome. The authors of the present study are therefore evaluating the use of a haptic device in the biomedical sciences. After the slides have dried. The microtome can be adjusted for width and angle of cut and so as the crank is operated further. The graded solutions gradually expose the sample to changes in hydrophobicity. and architecture of tissues. It is controlled by a crank that is turned to bring the paraffin block closer to the blade. The desired tissue is first removed from the organism and then placed in fixative in order to preserve the structure of the tissue. After several slices of the paraffin-embedded tissue have been cut. Advanced simulated surgery demands a reduced degree of simplification and steps towards controllable complexity while successful transformation for the blind and visually impaired often requires a considerable reduction in complexity. composition. After completion of fixation. It is also possible to use aspects of this approach to teach blind or visually impaired people rather abstract concepts such as microscopic biology (Study 1). Samples embedded in paraffin are first mounted in a microtome which holds a sharp blade. minimizing damage to cells. Extended fixation times may cause damage to the sample which becomes apparent in artifacts at high levels of magnification.1 General It is generally acknowledged that research is required whenever information has to be converted from one mode into another. The present report may give a representation on problems associated with preparations to overcome this dilemma. 2005). This process is followed by component identification via staining (e. tissues are dehydrated by first using graded ethanol solutions. but not all.2 Histology Histology involves the use of a set of techniques to examine the morphology. It is common to use paraffin wax for embedment. allow its use. 1). Schendel et al. the slices are gently brushed from the blade and floated atop a water bath to smooth out the sample.g.

The term n represents the number of digital images required for translation 222 . 2). 1: Information transfer is identical for both studies: for each of the two studies pictoral information is translated into a virtual mesh to be further processed by a haptic device. The most commonly applied stain is called Hematoxylin and Eosin (H and E) in which the hematoxylin component makes nuclei appear dark blue while eosin stains the remaining cell components (such as the cytoplasm) reddish (Fig. Fig.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner referentially.

Digitalization will be followed by segmentation and classification which is performed to break the images into parts. 2: Real histological slide prior to segmentation.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner Fig. 3: The real histological slide depicted in Fig. 3). The image contains 1. 223 . 1.753 classified objects. now segmented. objects or patches with similar properties (Fig. 1. Most parts of the desmoplastic stroma reaction however are not segmented as they will be modeled mathematically. A squamous cell carcinoma with a considerable desmoplastic stroma reaction (H&E staining). Fig.3 Segmentation A variety of digital cameras may be used to obtain photographs that can be further processed by a computer.

where for the speed a modified Langevin equation was assumed. For simulating microsurgery. smoothed with a Savitzky-Golay filter. friction and random fluctuation. 4: Virtual histological slide. Virtual surgery benefits from photorealistic visualization and other aspects of increased complexity. contact guidance. The degree of complexity has therefore been reduced which also allows a blind or visually impaired person to “read” the scenario once transformed into haptic signals. cells: continuum) lead to a hybrid discrete-continuum model. Most of these parameters are unknown at this point of research. In this model. so they were estimated by trial-anderror. While the cell characteristics were meshfree. It is clear that because of the enormous complexity of the mathematical model lots of parameters arise. The trajectories are stochastic processes. each cell was characterized by its position and velocity both of which are time-dependent. 224 . this did not hold for the collagen fibres: They were modelled as a vectorfield on regular cartesian grid. So the interactions between the different variables (fibres: discrete. 1.5 Preparation Information provided by photographs of real histology is too complex for teaching a blind or visually impaired individual histology by the means of a haptic device. 1. The stroma was simulated to interact with the virtual representation of the squamous cell carcinoma shown in Fig.4 Rendering The aim of rendering is to generate new synthetic slides adapted from the segmented and classified slides of the previous step.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner 1. 4). 5) that can be manipulated with a haptic device. Fig. a stack of histology pictures has to undergo 3D reconstruction to generate a complex virtual three dimensional object (Fig. Early steps in the mathematical model of the desmoplastic stroma reaction showing trajectories of simulated fibroblasts. This led to the idea to reduce complexity by generating virtual representations of the photographs of real histological slides (Fig. Included impulses for the velocity-vector were chemotaxis.

Note that the structures are still triangular which represents a reduced degree of realism and thereby complexity. a considerable reduction of controllable complexity appears to not be desirable for study 2. The object of interest can either be a single virtual histological slide or a stack of histological slides after 3D reconstruction. Applicability for surgical training therefore requires an increase in photorealism and other aspects of complexity. Srinivasan 1995).e. 1995. Haptic rendering methods are based on a geometric surface representation (i. The principle of haptic rendering is that the user interacts with the stylus of the haptic device and the computer registers the new spatial 225 .MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner Fig. The forces of interaction between the objects in the virtual scene are calculated and thereafter reflected to the user to give a feeling of real touch (Salisbury et al. 1. Unlike for study 1. polygonal mesh) of the digitalized histological slides. The procedure of determining the forces of interaction between the different objects in the scene is called haptic rendering (Fig.6 Haptic Device A haptic interface can be used to subjoin a sense of touch to interactions in combination with a virtual representation. 6). 5: An early step in a virtual 3D reconstruction based on a stack of histological slides (dark lines) of a fetal cleft palate.

the authors of the present study are using binary space partition trees. For effective collision detection. the currency of the research. For teaching blind or visually impaired individuals histology. The basic idea of binary space partition trees is to insert all objects of the virtual scene into the a binary tree and each object partitions the space (Fuchs et al. veterinary medicine. Medical bibliographic from Pubmed information is available in two databases. 1. 1980). which covers physics. nursing. USA. which covers medicine. Fig. the preponderance of research output by specific countries. developed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Library of Medicine (NLM). dentistry. Analyses of the datasets of references retrieved from the databases give a synoptic overview of how the literature can serve to indicate the status of research activity and therefore give a microcosmic view of the state of research on the topic as it indicates. penetration should be possible as virtual tissues have to be cut.e. the result of collision detection and response is preventing the proxy (i. electronics and computing. Two databases stand out for analysis. 1995. the virtual representation of the stylus of the haptic device) from penetrating the boundary of a virtual object. and the preclinical sciences in over 4.. however.7 Bibliometry The use of haptic devices in the biomedical sciences can be quantified by conducting a bibliometric survey. if the application detects a collision between the stylus and a boundary of an object the haptic device has to react to this fact. The position is then compared with the boundaries of the virtual objects the aim of which is to detect collisions between the virtual hand and the objects. This is done by activating the motors of the device to force the real hand of the user in a diametrical direction. Hubbard 1995). Medline. and the predominance of any particular language of the published material. the degree of collaboration among researchers. London. PubMed is a biomedical database. however.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner position. In case of simulated surgery.800 journals published in the United States and 70 other 226 . UK. Cohen et al. The collision detection feature examines whether two objects overlap and in case they do overlap it quantifies the depth of penetration of the stylus relative to the object boundaries (Basdogan 2001. MD. 6: Principle of the control scheme for haptic rendering (Sjöström 2002. while Inspec is a bibliographic database produced by the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE). the health care system. the volume of research output in the form of published articles and conference papers. Bethesda. modified).

The search was conducted using the search terms ‘haptic device’. and search tools. PubMed provides users with links to online resources including full-text articles (access being free for some while for others a subscription is required).5 million citations. 2 Materials and Methods 2. in press). books.000 markers per image. in press. implemented by the authors (Dohrmann et al. So called Old Medline contains approximately 2 million citations to articles from international biomedical journals from 1950 to 1965. 2005). 2. This variety in the material covered is a notable difference when compared to Medline which consists entirely of journal articles. Inspec indexes over 4000 journals with journal articles constituting 82% of its bibliographic material. and ‘phantom tactile interface’. 2004. This resulted in an average of more than 1. other databases. Collaboration in research activity and research output by publication is indicated by the level of co-authorship. review articles and references outside the scope of the topic were eliminated. ‘tactile interface’. 227 . 2. as an example. Göttingen. Landes et al. FRG) or an OLYMPUS CAMEDIA C-3030 Zoom that was fixed to a BX41 light microscope (both OLYMPUS OPTICAL CO Europa GmbH.2 Histology Preparations for attempts and trials to teach blind and visually impaired individuals histology were termed Study 1 while preparations for the simulation of surgery were defined as Study 2. Landes et al. The samples used for Study 1 were formalin fixed and embedded in paraffin wax and were subjected to a standard protocol for H&E staining and subsequently digitalized using either an AXIOCAMMRC5 digital camera mounted on a AXIOSKOP 2 light microscope (both CARL ZEISS AG. Hamburg.3 Segmentation Haptic rendering required a clear cut separation ad classification of anatomical structures. ‘tactile device’. an article about the application of haptic device for aircraft engine maintainability. FRG). Lotka’s Law of scientific Productivity of Authors (Lotka 1926) for instance states that the number of authors making n contributions to the literature is about 1/n² of those making one contribution. More complex preparations were needed for Study 2 (Landes et al.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner countries.1 Bibliometry Relevant references were sought by interrogating the databases PUBMED and INSPEC (as of August 2005). Both were therefore performed using the prototypical SEVISE software. ‘phantom haptic interface’. Lotka’s Law of scientific Productivity of Authors was considered. References were considered for relevance by perusal of the abstracts. The database covers 1969 to the present and to date has over 7. All structures of interest were labeled by creating polygonal contours by mouse click. and conference papers which constitute 21% of its material. dissertations and reports. The database contains over 12 million bibliographic citations from 1966 to the present and while coverage is worldwide in scope most records are from English language sources or have English abstracts.

0 and 566569 (B). and 248. Steerable pyramids were used to generate textures with the potential to resemble the original (Portilla & Simoncelli 2000). 228 .g. The authors used steerable pyramids to generate textures with different degrees of complexity (density). from herpesvirus type 6 infection or zygomycosis in humans (Sudhof 2003. 184. Based on textual description language a pyramid based texture analysis/synthesis algorithm was applied. The textures may be extracted from any source. e. Wagner et al.1 and 967631 (E). The algorithm started with generating an image of uniform random noise. The classified morphological components of the previous segmentation were added to a database that had a significant number of patterns. The algorithm was adapted from a previously published approach (Heeger & Bergen 1995).4 Rendering Rendering virtual cells with artificial textures allowed the authors to modify textural complexity as deemed suitable (Fig.8 and 699363 (C).7 and 1203507 (F).1 and 715578 for the real nuclei (A) while the virtual nuclei had a mean grey value and an integrated density of 111. 2000). In compliance with the information of the textual description an example of the database was taken. the algorithm was applied and the result was a synthetically generated image. 7). 144. which was adjusted in an iterative progress to Fig.7 and 665768 (D). 7: Real nuclei (A) from a prostate with an adenocarcinoma (H&E) and their virtual representations (BF). Such quantification may help specify the best set of textures for each blind or visually impaired person and has to be assessed for each individual separately. The mean grey value and the integrated density for instance were 136. 126.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner 2. 1997) or from animal experimentation (Turler et al.

Study 1 made it necessary to expand the 2D-image to the third dimension by generating a mesh for the haptic representation (Fig. the noise pyramid was collapsed and the example of the database and the new synthetic image were processed in an iterative histogram matching process. This means it was dissected into a set of subbands by a set of convolution and subsampling operations (De Bonet 1997). Especially at the point of mesh generation. Fig.5 Preparation Reliable 3D models were generated by taking information from the previous and the following segmentation steps into account. 2. 8: The mesh generation pipeline from a real histological slide (A) via a virtual histological slide (B) and three dimensionally scattered data points (C) to a 3D Delaunay triangulation (D). 8). 9: Meshing a volumetric data set of the lateral pterygoid muscle from a surface mesh (A) to a volume mesh (B) to obtain volume (C). the authors had to differentiate between Study 1 and Study 2 as the former requires the transformation of a single virtual slide into a polygonal mesh while for Study 2. The standardized color information was therefore mapped to the third dimension. nuclear sizes and positions help distinguish the real and virtual liver tissue. Fig. After this. The result was a new synthetic image. a volumetric mesh was needed. Afterwards a 3D Delaunay triangulation of the scattered data points was applied which resulted in a 3D mesh (Watson 1981). 229 . the image was decomposed into an oriented bandpass pyramid.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner the source. A subsequent mesh reduction reduced the dataset size. Differences in cytoplasmic texture. The noisy image was subsequently modified by pyramid decomposition and the corresponding subbands of the two pyramids were adjusted by histogram matching. minimized possible artifacts and enhanced the operating speed. Next.

5N by a nominal position resolution of 1. with the haptic rendering computation thread running at a high priority to ensure fast update This resulted in cleaner surface definitions and better rendering by the 3D software. The Software Toolkit is a C++ object-oriented library that assists developers by a hierarchical collection of geometric objects and a spatial control. 10) and the GENERAL HAPTICS OPEN SOFTWARE TOOLKIT (both SENSABLE TECHNOLOGIES. INC. MA. The volumetric data set was made up of a sequence of slides having defined metric and relative information on the topology.volumegraphics.00023cm). The resulting dataset was visualized by using direct volume rendering techniques at interactive frame-rates. 230 . USA) were chosen to give tactile access to the virtual representation of the tissues. Because the phantom device has a six degree of freedom of movement. every object of classification was inserted into a scene graph as a separate node but administrated by the scene graph of the SDK as objects that belong to each other. copied pixel-by-pixel proportional to their thicknesses into a 3D array. the virtual environment is administered as a haptic scene graph. The hardware equipment for the developed prototypical application consisted of a dual processor Pentium 4 (XEON) 3. After matching the image pairs.100dpi (0. deleted and properly arranged in space.0 GHz WINDOWS XP personal computer with two gigabytes of RAM and a GEFORCE4 6800 graphics card. By this.7 Haptic Rendering Segmentation classified the histological slices into different structures. using a modified shortest path algorithm. Different textures implicated in a haptic context were made to feel different as well. Furthermore. a matching algorithm searched the previous layer for polygons that belonged to the identical structure. for a correct alignment of the slides as well as the volume it was necessary to apply a registration algorithm. VGL (VolumeGraphics GmbH: The VolumeGraphics Library. 2. Woburn. The device follows the principles of an industrial robot with a stylus that has an additional button at the end of an arm.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner The volumetric data set associated with Study 2 required a different approach (Fig. the position of the link can be described by six-tuple. To arbitrate a haptic feedback. First. All visualization was performed by combined volume and polygon rendering. corresponding to different textures.. It was furthermore possible to "smoothen" objects or reduce the surface angularities caused by aberrant vertices. The orientations of the hand could be rolling. However. www. 9). offered by the Volume Graphics Library. and put them properly in space. The positions were presented in a Cartesian coordinate system. a reconstruction algorithm arranged the cross sections. the phantom device decreed three motors providing controllable forces along three of those freedoms with a maximum obtainable force of about 8.6 Haptic Device A PHANTOM (Personal Haptic Interface Mechanism) device (Fig. Hence. it was possible to achieve any position in the virtual environment with the tip of the haptic device arm. the SDK supported the calculation of the resulting force for the motors of the haptic device. This regular 3D model was obtained by resampling the sequence of images in 3D space using local trilinear interpolation. yawing and pitching. Objects could be added. the anatomical segments were interpolated and then stored as iso-surfaces. 2. By using the GHOST SDK. To visualize the segment information of the histological slices in 3D space. They were needed to bring the end effector in any position and the “hand” of the user in a definite orientation to the object. The application was multi-threaded.

11B). From the dataset of 45 journal articles there were 4 (8. 10: SensAble Phantom Device – An interface to simulate haptic interaction. Canada.65%. 11C).22%) by six authors.43%. Germany 14. The dataset of references from PubMed shows that the majority of references was published between 2000 and 2005. 19 (42. There were 114 (94.8%) by five authors. France. Switzerland and Italy 2. 11A).47%. and 105 (70%) were conference papers all published between 2000 and 2005.77%) by three authors.04%. The search using INSPEC yielded 150 references of which 45 (30%) were journal articles all published between 2000 and 2005. the United Kingdom 4. and the United States of America contributed 39. 6 (4. 4 (8. which can be construed to be indicative of increasing research interest and consequently increasing research output as seen in numbers of publications over time (Fig.95%. South Korea. Japan 7. and 1 (0. 2 (4.22%) by four authors. Australia and Hong Kong 3.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner Fig. For 2.9%) in German.33%) by two authors’ 8 (17. Belgium and Greece contributed 0. The data also indicate that there was a trend toward collaboration (Fig.44%) by eight authors.22%) 231 .47% of the articles no country was designated.8%) by one author. Sweden and the Netherlands 4. 3 Results The search in PUBMED yielded 121 relevant references.82%) in Japanese.13%. 6 (13.21%) articles in English.3%. Norway and Denmark 1. and 1 (2. There are 17 countries which contributed to the research output and this serves as an indicator of the countries currently involved in research activity on this topic (Fig.8% of the articles each.66%. 1 (2. English remains the predominant language of publication.

however. 10 (9. For Study 1. China. 2 (1. the United States contributed 19 (18. For blind and visually impaired individuals pronounced data reduction needed to take place. the virtual scalpel was programmed not to penetrate virtual bone while it should easily cut muscle tissue.7%). 22 (20. The latter is a protracted exercise which may not be in keeping with the “publish or perish” code of practice in the medical sciences. by an anonymous source. 16 (15.90%) were by eight authors. only a surface mesh was needed as only data of single slides had to be transformed.38%) were by six authors. This approach made it necessary to generate a surface mesh. Slovenia. Switzerland contributed 4 (3. Finland. the virtual slide was represented by a dense scattered set of points resulting in a dense mesh the size of which had to be reduced. These meshes were relatively easy to generate. and Mexico all contributed 1 paper (0. a volume mesh and finally a volume set to support the virtual cutting of the elaborate three-dimensional models (Dohrmann et al. 13 (13. Spain.MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner Fig.23%) were by three authors.47%).33%).95%) each. surface meshes are inadequate as they do not support the penetration of volumes. Malaysia. the amount of data was reduced although the information content remained constant. For Study 1. and Singapore contributed 2 papers (2. South Korea contributed 14 (13. Bulgaria. The conference papers indicate that 8 (7.80%).85%) each. It now only depended on virtual properties of the simulated material of the object whether it was more or less easily cut. For example.61%) were by one author. This led to compromises on a seemingly authentic haptic feeling.85%) each. France contributed 11 (10. 4 Discussion The present study shows how much transformation of information may differ with regard to the task. For simulated surgery (Study 2).71%). the Netherlands. Canada. August 2005). 2004).09%)’ and Japan contributed 27 (25.90%) were from anonymous sources. There was no classical data reduction in terms of data compression associated with the transfer of graphic representation to haptic enhanced representation. This hypothesis is supported 232 . This was achieved by increasing the significance of single information units and reducing the entropy of information. It was therefore necessary to generate a smooth mesh rather than a mesh that offers too many features. 21 (20%) were by four authors. 11: Results of bibliometry on the use of haptic devices in the biomedical sciences (according to PubMed. Lithuania.47%) were by five authors. From the dataset of 105 conference papers. respectively. Italy contributed 6 (5. In fact. and 2 (1. the United Kingdom and Germany contributed 3 (2. 11 (10.95%) were by two authors. had a high operating speed and provided excellent haptic properties.52%) were by seven authors. the Czech Republic. Virtual histological slides may either help generate an output with a reduced or with an augmented data size. it can be assessed that the trend toward collaboration in research and output is comparable to journal articles. Latvia.

The ideal reconstruction technique for a certain patient may then be selected based on data obtained by preoperative simulation. pathological and postoperative situation. Haptic feedback allows the surgeon to perform and compare the feasibility and dynamic results of several operation techniques. Data reduction was considered helpful with regards to study 1.and high-proficiency blind braille reading (Davidson et al.g. faster acquisition and better long-term maintenance of anatomic knowledge. Threedimensional anatomical reconstruction in virtual environments is expected to permit improved teaching. in-depth education of junior surgeons requires the sensible feedback of tissue resistance under manipulation. mesh and finite-element supported simulation of muscle contraction will help compare force distribution in the normal. muscle transpositions. First and second order morphometrical statistics can be applied to analyze these structures (Haralick et al. 2002). This was also reflected by the underlying rendering concept which provides virtual cells with textures. 2003. Controllable near real-life complexity is desired for virtual surgery to help the trainee master not only uneventful operations. e. Study 2 is even farther from being routinely applicable at this point in time. Several trials have therefore to be performed to evaluate this methodology. in malformation surgery of cleft-lip and palate have been restricted to mere visual animation (Cutting et al. earlier attempts e. The application of artificial neural network technology (Linder et al. The distribution of languages may be attributed to the assertion that it is usually more difficult to get cited when published in non-English journals. 1992).MuTra 2005 – Challenges of Multidimensional Translation: Conference Proceedings Mathias Wagner by the results of the bibliometric survey. It is not known whether preference for any degree of data reduction correlates for instance with low. rendering results may be systematically reduced in complexity which may be monitored by quantitative texture analysis. The transformation of visual data to tactile information is expected to become an important input to surgery. Mohamed et al. However.. Comparing the results for PUBMED and INSPEC suggests that the biomedical sciences may currently provide less applications for haptic devices than other areas. 2003a. Mohamed et al. exploration of the spatial relationships at freely eligible angles. Application of a haptic device combined with virtual histology will help make individual operation planning possible. Its objective was to get a representative perspective of the coverage of the literature on the application of haptic device in biomedical research and practice. The value of such a simulation first depends upon the exactness of the training model. Photorealistic visualization algorithms are most suitable to optimize such simulation programs (Spicer & Apuzzo 2003) and maybe supported by texture mapping approaches. Such refined training will prospectively enhance the postoperative results of patient safety as has long been performed in other high hazard activity as for instance aviation. For study 1. As described above.g. There is wide geographic scatter of the contributions of conference papers and in this regard may be considered to indicate wider geographic coverage than journal articles. 233 . calculus for Study 2 was more complex as study 1 required “only” a polygonal mesh while Study 2 was based on a volumetric model. Data reduction was therefore possible by either texture modifications (virtual cells) or mesh reduction (3D Delaunay triangulation). 2003b) may help improve the performance of virtual surgery programs even more. and the simulation of surgery. The result is that English has become the first language of choice in which to get articles published as researchers will undoubtedly aspire to get their research results accepted for publication and so increase the likelihood of their articles being acknowledged by the academic community and consequently cited in the literature. Prospective volumetry. Secondly. Julesz 1975). 1973.

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